Fake job offers have increased during the pandemic, according to the Better Business Bureau. In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center The data showed that 16,012 people had been victims of employment scams. They said they lost over $ 59 million.
We told you about cybercriminals who spoof legitimate businesses and post on popular job boards to deceive job seekers.
Now a North Texas man says a job scam cost him potential unemployment benefits. Read on to learn more about how to recognize the signs of a scam.
“Too good to be true”
After being laid off last year, Moises Duke was in training for a new job. It was not in his field and it did not offer all the advantages. So when another company came up with an open graphic design position with full health and dental benefits, Duke said he jumped at the chance.
“When I got the offer letter, I was like, okay, I’m going to put my review in the other company,” Duke said.
Duke said all negotiations with the new company were handled by email. The company told her it was hiring this way due to the pandemic.
“I wanted to try and sell myself through emails and it worked out fine,” Duke said. “At some point,” they said, “because of COVID, we’re going to send you a check so that you can buy the computers and everything. It was then that everything was a little too good to be true.
He would later learn that the second offer was a scam. As he had quit his job, he could not apply for unemployment benefits.
“The problem was, I left that company, the other one was bogus, so I don’t have a job or a job,” Duke said.
Cybercriminals employ elaborate tricks
Cyber criminals go the extra mile to make the scam more credible. They can impersonate legitimate businesses, or even extract publicly available information to impersonate actual employees.
According to the latest BBB to study of job scams, victims are usually contacted by email or text, and most believe the contact is a result of their online job search.
“A lot of people, when they apply for jobs, they post their resumes not knowing that this information is readily available to everyone, including scammers,” said Erica Mendoza, head of investigations for BBB Serving North Central Texas.
Mendoza said that cybercriminals are looking for your personal information and your money. A common trick is to send a job seeker a check with instructions for depositing it, and then purchase work-at-home supplies from a supplier of their choice. The “seller” is also a con artist.
After the victim sends money to buy equipment, the funds are taken from their account. Later, the original check is bounced and the victim’s money is gone.
The Federal Trade Commission Explain just because you see the funds in your account after depositing a check doesn’t mean the check has been “cleared”. While banks are required to make deposited check funds available within a few days, it can take weeks to learn that the check is fake.
“You end up transferring your own money to these crooks and then you are forced to pay for the money,” Mendoza said.
Recognize the red flags
Moises Duke didn’t end up losing money. The scam ended when his supposed new boss sent Duke a check to pay for work-from-home equipment. Duke, a graphic designer, said he could tell that the bank logo on the cashier’s check was not quite correct.
“It’s normally the banks that make sure their logo is perfect,” Duke explained.
He cut off contact with the scammer, reported the scheme to the BBB, and placed fraud alerts on his accounts. Although Duke did not return any cash, he had provided personal information to the scammer after insisting on a background check.
“It’s a little disheartening because you’re trying to work hard to get a job,” Duke said.
He wants to share his story so that another job seeker isn’t held back by a scam.
“If everything sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true,” said Duke. “Watch out for that.”
Other red flags include grammar and spelling mistakes, vague job descriptions, and promises of immediate hiring with no maintenance required.
The FBI is warning job seekers to be wary of interviews that do not take place in person or via a secure video call.
If you’re asked to buy starter material or pay for your own background check or screening, it’s likely a scam – according to the FBI.
The BBB has said work at home involving receiving and reshipping packages is a scam.
Be careful when providing personal information – including your full address, date of birth, and financial information on your resume or to unverified recruiters and online applications.
The FBI points out that legitimate businesses will request direct deposit information for payroll purposes after hiring employees. It is safer to do this in person. Legitimate businesses shouldn’t ask you for your credit card number, either.
How to protect yourself
Check the job posting directly through the company. Do not use contact details provided by a stranger. Instead, call or go directly to the company’s website for contact details to confirm the job offer.
If you find multiple websites for the same business, or the website address is only a few letters away from the URL of a business website, it could be spoofing. .
If a job posting appears on job boards, but not on the company’s website, it may be a scam.
Check the hiring manager’s email address. Do they match the web addresses used by the current business? Scammers can use a similar address.
You can also search the Internet with the employer’s name and the word “scam” to look for reports of similar employment scams.
If a new employer sends you a check and asks you to send money to a third party – whether through wire transfer, cash application, or gift cards – don’t.
What to do if you are the victim of an employment scam
Contact your bank or the company that issued your credit card immediately. If you used a payment app to send money to a stranger, contact the bank connected to the account and notify them of the fraudulent debit. It may be too late to stop the transaction, but law enforcement recommends that you immediately notify your financial institutions.
Federal Trade Commission Highlights Additional Steps You Can Take here if you were scammed.
Report the scam to Internet Crime Complaints Center.
Notify the FTC in line or call 877-FTC-Aide
You can also inform the BBB and report the scam to the website where the job posting was listed and to the company whose identity the cybercriminals have impersonated.
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