Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams

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Scammers Contact You Out of the Blue

The scam: Even reputable job sites aren't immune to scammers. A recent victim explains, "I gave up a work-at-home position with a reliable paycheck because I was contacted by someone through my LinkedIn profile. The company offered me a much better paying position and requested I leave my current position and start there the following week. I did as they requested. I worked for them for 2 weeks and 2 days…and then out of nowhere they said they decided to 'go in a different direction' and let me go. They NEVER paid me—they owe me over $1,000 and won't respond to my calls or emails."

How to detect the scam: In this day and age, being unexpectedly contacted by a company that is interested in interviewing you is not unheard of. However, being offered a job by a company that you have never applied to or had any interaction with is a red flag. Especially if there is a sense of urgency, such as asking you to leave your current job immediately without allowing you to give your two weeks' notice. Scammers capitalize on job seekers' desperation for money, and recognize that applying a time limit — paired with an increase in pay — makes it difficult for professionals to consider attractive job offers with a critical and skeptical eye. 

The continued expansion of Internet and cloud capabilities has led to more and more individuals having the opportunity to work from home. Online jobs have expanded the employment landscape into a phenomenon with a global reach. Unfortunately, as with any lucrative market, cyber scammers have taken notice. As the number of individuals working from home has increased, so too has the sophistication of jobs scams. It's such an issue that even the FBI and BBB have issued warnings to job seekers looking for work-at-home jobs.

While you might think it's easy to identify job scams – for example, those with extremely poor grammar or those that require an upfront investment – scammers have become more sophisticated and convincing in their tactics to trap job seekers. While these scams largely target work-at-home jobs, they can apply to regular job postings, as well.

"Job seekers have grown sensitive to the typical warning signs of fake job listings, so scammers have evolved their tactics to trick them," said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, a leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. "In order to ensure a safer online job search experience, today's job seekers need to be aware of how job scams have matured so they can adequately protect themselves."

This slideshow features five sophisticated job scams and tips to identify and guard against them.

 

Related Topics : A Big Market for Big Data Jobs, Midmarket CIO, IT Management Automation, SharePoint, Technology Markets

 
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