As if job-seekers didn’t have it hard enough, the Better Business Bureau of Abilene, TX posted warnings about on-line job application scams that trick applicants into providing personal information.
The scammers were smart to target people who are willing to provide whatever information it takes to get hired by an employer. Your resume usually contains your contact information and your employment history. With the job market tightening up and many employers referring applicants to websites, it is no wonder that social engineers recognized this as a way to steal identities on a large scale. With the publicity of websites like Linked.com and Monster.com it was inevitable that scammers would create copy-cat websites or create fake Craigslist postings. Some scammers were even able to convince applicants to provide direct-deposit information or send money to the fake companies!
As we all prepare to look for Co-Op and permanent jobs, it is best to watch out for the red flags to a scam as suggested by the Better Business Bureau.
- Watch out for grammatical and/or spelling errors on application websites or in e-mails.
- Emails from job posting websites claiming there’s a problem with a job hunter’s account.
- Employer asks for extensive personal information such as social security or bank account numbers.
- An employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home.
- An employer asks for money upfront.
- The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true.
- The job requires the employee to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram.
Overall, be sure to know the company that you are applying for. Do some research and make some telephone calls to be sure that the company and website are legitimate. And remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!