Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams

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Scammers Conducting Interviews Through Online Chat

The scam: Scammers have started turning to chat services to communicate and conduct fake job interviewers with job seekers.

How to detect the scam: Although convenient, when a company will only communicate with you and/or interview you for a job through online chat, the chances are very high that the company is not legitimate. If you are approached through your online chat profile, be sure to request that they give you a call, and do your research before interviewing to see if the results yield any red flags. Other red flags include: Scammers' English language and punctuation skills are often lacking, they offer unnecessary and HR-illegal details like their age, and they are able to provide the job seeker with a hiring decision immediately. Once you are offered the job — and often a company-issued laptop to arrive soon — they then ask for a seemingly reasonable upfront payment for "proprietary pre-installed software programs" and require payment via Western Union or check. 

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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