Scam of the day – November 12, 2017 – New online employment scam

I have been warning you about employment related scams for years and today’s scam represents the most recent incarnation of scams that involve seeking employment.

Searching for a job online has become the norm for many people seeking employment and there are many legitimate online employment websites such as Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com, however, merely because an ad for a job appears on a legitimate website does not mean that the job is for real.  It may be just a scam seeking either personal information to make you a victim of identity theft, your money or both.  Do not assume because you see an ad for a job on a legitimate employment website that the ad is legitimate.  Although Career builder.com, Monster.com and other online employment agencies do their best to screen their ads, they can’t be even close to perfect.

In the newest variation of the scammer, the scammers will  first do research on their victims and read their resumes.  They then contact the victim and offer them a job, but tell  the victim that he or she will need to purchase some equipment and pay a fee for training.  A check is sent to the victim to pay for the equipment.  The unwary victim deposits the counterfeit check and get provisional credit from his or her bank before the check is discovered to be counterfeit which can take weeks.  At this point the funds are taken back from your account by your bank, but meanwhile the money you have wired as instructed to the scammer is lost forever.

TIPS

Never spend money to apply for a job.  Legitimate employers do not require fees.  Google the address, telephone number and name of the company to see if they match what you have been told.  Don’t send a resume with personal information, such as your Social Security number that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  If an ad appears to be from a company that you know is legitimate, confirm by a telephone call to the real company’s HR department that the ad you are answering is legitmate.  A legitimate company will eventually need your Social Security number, but not early in the process.  Make sure that you have confirmed that the job is legitimate before providing this information.

In regard to this particular scam, you should investigate the company thoroughly before agreeing to anything and never consider a check as being legitimate until it has fully cleared.

Scam of the day – July 10, 2017 – Phony job interview scam

Recently a number of companies including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have been reporting their company’s names are being used for phony job interviews being conducted by Skype in which the sole purpose of the interview is for a scammer to obtain personal information to be used to make the person who thinks he or she is participating in a legitimate job interview a victim of identity theft.

Part of the problem with this scam is that companies are using Skype for legitimate job interviews.  Fortunately, there are some telltale signs to warn you if the interview is a real interview or an identity theft trap.

TIPS

If you are contacted about a job interview to be conducted by Skype when you have not applied for the job, you should immediately become skeptical.

While some states permit prospective employers to ask for Social Security numbers on job applications, you should also be skeptical if you are asked for that information early in the job application process and certainly no employer needs bank account information from you prior to your being hired.  Before doing a Skype job interview, contact the real company’s HR department to confirm that the Skype interview is real.

Scam of the day – August 4, 2012 – Online job scams

The convenience of looking for a job online is somewhat balanced by the ease with which scammers can exploit this process to steal money from you or make you a victim of identity theft.  Merely because you find a job listing on a legitimate job site, such as Monster.com does not meant that the company is legitimate.  Despite the best efforts of employment websites, scammers do get through.

TIPS

If a company doesn’t even list its name, don’t even bother to respond to the advertisement.  Real companies are not afraid of using their names in their ads.  Stick to legitimate sites, such as Monster.com  which at least make an effort to try to weed out the scammers.  The key to identity theft is your Social Security number so do not provide your Social Security number on any initial job application.   A problem, however, is that companies may do a background check on prospective employees and to do that effectively they will need your Social Security number.  If you get to that point in the process call the HR department of the company at a telephone number that you know is accurate to confirm that indeed the job offer is a legitimate one and not just someone posing as that company.  Finally, whenever you provide personal information online, make sure that the URL begins with “https” rather than just “http.”  That letter “s” indicates that the information is being encrypted