The FBI released a public service announcement to warn against scammers using fake job announcements on recruitment platforms to steal applicants’ money and personal info.
Reportedly, scammers run phishing campaigns through fake advertisements on job recruitment websites to extract critical data and money from their victims. Many victims say the scam even hurt their credit scores as well.
Threat actors add credibility to their sham by using legitimate information to mimic businesses, hoping unsuspecting victims fail to detect the fraud.
The inadequate security on recruitment platforms makes it easy for these scammers to post job announcements, even on official company pages. In this case, the website would display fake job ads next to legitimate ones.
“The logos, images, email addresses, and spoofed websites closely resemble the information of the legitimate company,” says the FBI. “In some cases, the scammers use the identities of actual company employees to increase the perceived authenticity of the job posts. They may continue to use those identities in their interactions with the job seekers during the fraudulent interview and hiring process.”
Fake job ad scams can also deal a blow to the reputations of the impersonated businesses. Applicants who don’t realize they’ve been scammed could write negative reviews of the impacted company, sinking its ratings on social media platforms and career platforms.
Within the same document, the FBI offered recommendations for both employers and job seekers to stave off these fraud attempts. Applicants should go through this checklist before engaging with a job announcement:
- Check if the website is secure before providing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) online by looking at the address bar; HTTPS (lockpad) means secure, HTTP is not secure
- Perform a web search of the hiring company, and see if the results return multiple websites; sometimes this could be a red flag for fraudulent job listings
- Cross-check job ads found on third-party websites with the hiring company’s official website or an HR representative
- Never send money, credit card details, bank account information, or your Social Security Number to someone you met online
- Companies will ask for PII and bank account information after hiring employees; try to provide these in person, if possible