Employers and recruiters may connect with candidates more easily and affordably by using video technologies and online job boards. Sadly, scammers are also using them, and they aren’t trying to get you a job.
People using LinkedIn, Zoom, and other online platforms to phish for your personal information and money include those purporting to be employed by respectable companies, such as FINRA. In reality, identical strategies—and advice on how to avoid falling prey—might also apply to postal and email correspondence, phone interviews, and even in-person job interviews.
How to Spot a Hiring Scam
Here are some warning signs that may point to a scam, regardless of whether you are attending an online job interview or have already received a job offer:
Prerequisites for payment. To find work, you shouldn’t have to pay an employer or staffing agency. Furthermore, you shouldn’t be asked to pay for any materials until you have been hired and have expressly agreed to pay for any necessary tools or supplies for the job. Even then, be sure to properly investigate the business to ensure that any purchases that are required are indeed essential and, if they are, to determine how those purchases should be made. Particularly watch out for solicitations to deposit corporate checks and then use those monies to refund or pay a third party. When checks are fraudulently written, they eventually bounce, and you are then liable for paying back the money that was stolen as well as any fees that were incurred.
Lack of preparation by hiring staff prior to the online session or on-the-spot interviews. Any request for an immediate online video interview without any prior communication from the hiring agency should raise red flags. A valid online interview is typically accompanied by initial outreach and information about the time of the interview, potential callers’ names and titles, among other things. Lack of planning ahead could be a warning sign.
Solicitations for private data, such as your Social Security number (SSN), payment card details, or bank account number. Asking for this kind of information is a red flag that could indicate job fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and employment specialists. Although some jurisdictions permit employers to ask for SSNs on job applications, you should be aware that, for example, APN settings information is typically only sought after you are employed and not during an interview. Even so, before sending any personal information, you should get in touch with the business to make sure the position and paperwork are legitimate.
Requests the download of files or documents. Malware that records mouse or keystroke movements or even commandeers your webcam may be present in files. The best course of action is to close the session and avoid opening any files that are provided to you via a virtual platform.
Other warning signs include:
- Strange or poorly written language on the web platform page or in other communications, including typos or unusual wording
- pressure to buy equipment or commit swiftly to a job
- Verbal or written expressions that imply a job is “guaranteed,” “waiting for you,” or that personal money are necessary for purchases.
- organized interviews for “previously unreported” positions. For instance, all government employment openings are made available on usajobs.gov. Similar to this, a lot of businesses, including FINRA, publish job openings on their own websites for the general public to view.
All the information you require to identify bogus pay stubs is provided below, but to get things started, here are some things to bear in mind:
- Check to see whether the numbers are not precisely rounded.
- Do you think the document is presented in a professional manner?
- If there are any discrepancies between 0s and Os, determine them.
- Check to see if the application’s fundamental details are accurate throughout the whole thing.
How Might I Defend Myself?
Here are six suggestions for avoiding an online employment scam.
Don’t reply to requests for an online interview that weren’t requested. Don’t participate in a session if you are unsure that you applied for the position.
Perform an internet search to learn more about the business and the recruiter or hiring manager who is in charge of the job ad.
If you receive a request for an interview, call the company’s human resources department to confirm that the company has arranged an interview for you on the requested date and that it actually uses the designated technologies to conduct interviews remotely.
Check with the business to see if the individual doing the online interview or the subsequent chats is an actual employee or has been paid to represent the business.
If you are requested for personal information, financial information, or a cost you weren’t expecting, end the call right away, and ignore any similar written requests.
Be guided by your intuition: If anything about the interview or hiring process seems off, get in touch with the company on your own to verify the position’s legitimacy before moving forward.