Fake Job Offers Are On The Rise-Are You Prepared?

by guest blogger, Lucy Wyndham

How good are you at spotting fake job offers?

The US employment market is booming and this has been confirmed by Reuters, who reported that the USA added 213,000 jobs in June. However, a rapidly expanding employment market comes with risks. One of these is fake job offers.

In a time when the advent of video interviewing has made the recruitment process easier, certain parties are seeking to take advantage. With a ‘job offer’ made and accepted, the fraudster will seek out financial details such as social security numbers and bank details. Here’s how to stay safe.

Identifying fake job offers

It can be difficult to identify a fake job offer. Typically, by the time you’ve gotten to the stage of accepting a job offer, you will have been through 2 or 3 rounds of recruitment and feel like you ‘know’ your recruiter. Scammers will typically enter the conversation through email phishing and will seek to obtain personal information via the false job offer. Despite improvements in security, phishing remains a huge problem, with the USA Government online safety service citing millions of online fraud victims in their official advice service. To stay safe from this particular scam, ensure you treat any email with the proper scrutiny.

Examining the details of the message

The first step when you receive the job offer is to assess the technical details of the email. First off, look at the URL of the email address. Is it one recognized as being owned by the company in question? Many scammers will set a legitimate email as their display name, masking the true, false email underneath – ensure you scrutinize it fully.

Secondly, look at the addressee. If you are one of many others on the email then disregard it and report it to the employer – it is extremely unlikely an HR body would risk confidentiality breaches through mass emails.

Scrutinizing the contents of the email

If you’ve established that the details seem legitimate, look at the actual email itself. Does it contain grammatical inaccuracies or frequent spelling mistakes? If so, would you expect this level of professionalism, or of the person signing off the email? Have they addressed it to the correct gender, and are there any standard corporate signatures you would expect to see from previous correspondence? Finally, examine the personal information required. Full card details or PIN is an instant red flag, as should be an undisclosed request for your social security number.

A key element of fraud is signing over personal details without applying scrutiny and is responsible for a large chunk of 2017’s online fraud, which cybersecurity analysts FCW found to total $600bn.

Related: How to Identify Digital Scams in 2020

What can we do about fake job offers?

With those steps taken, you will have identified a fraudulent email. If you have come to the conclusion the email is illegitimate, report it to law enforcement and the affected company. Reporting is an essential final step to ensuring scammers are caught and will develop your reputation with the target company.

Happy Job Hunting! We are here for you!

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lucy wyndhamGuest Blogger: Lucy Wyndham is a professional freelance writer, editor and mother of two, who decided to take a step back and work from home after spending a decade working in the finance and health industries. You can reach out to Lucy at lucywyndham.writer@gmail.com

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