In a hot job market online recruiting scams have re-emerged to prey on job seekers and employers.
The Better Business Bureau tracked more than 3,000 recruiting scams in 2018 resulting in losses in the millions of dollars, notes attorney Kathleen Porter of the Robinson & Cole law firm.
Typically, the scammer fraudulently uses a real company’s name and logo – and perhaps the real names of the employees who handle recruiting – to solicit applications from job seekers for fake jobs.
Many of the victim companies are household names or long established, which gives the scam an air of legitimacy. Sometimes the solicitation comes by email, but most often it is posted on a professional or recruiting website or social media platform.
Like most phishing schemes, the scammer’s email address is similar to, but not the same as the legitimate company’s email address, Porter says.
Job seekers are offered fake job interviews by phone and then fake job offers. Scammers also ask for personal information, like Social Security and bank account numbers for direct deposits.
Many legitimate employers add a recruiting page on their websites alerting job seekers about recruiting scams and how to avoid them, stressing that applicants are required to apply directly through the companies’ websites. There they can securely complete an online application and avoid the scammer’s tricks of seeking emailed documents or having them sent via a third-party website.
In addition, recruiting pages state that the real employer would never ask a candidate for payment as part of the hiring process. These recruiting pages also warn candidates not to provide sensitive personal information over the phone or by email.
If a company is contacted by someone scammed by a fake recruiter, it can recommend they contact their state attorney general to report the scam, and also report it to the business, recruiting or social media websites involved.