Job Hunter Scam
They say the best time to look for a job is when you already have a job. But there’s no good time to be scammed and that’s especially true when you’re job hunting and hopeful. Yet it’s been happening. Not only does it raise the hopes of people who respond, it can also drain their bank accounts and leave them having to try and reclaim their identity.
How It WorksYou post your CV on a job web site and hope someone’s interested enough to respond. When you do receive a response, it’s with an offer that sounds very interesting. However, they want you to go to their site and register your details with them.So far, that can seem reasonable. What you need to watch out for is if they ask for a lot of information, including your e-mail address and require you to create an account with a password. In the hope of a job, you might well go ahead and do it, but beware – it might not be as legitimate as it seems.
What you might well have done is fallen for a very slick variation on the phishing scam. The site is phoney, and the information they gather from you, if it’s the right information, can be used to fleece you. All they have to do is keep trying until they find your bank and they stand a fair chance of being able to get into your account, not to mention other accounts you might have.
The thing is, you might never even realise where it all came from as you wait in vain for the company to contact you about an interview.
How to Avoid the ScamIt’s difficult not to feel a surge of hope or elation when you’re contacted about a job. But you always need to approach with caution. If you’ve never heard of the company involved, do some checking first. If there’s a contact number on the site, call it and confirm that they work this way, having applicants register. If there are no contact details that should raise a big red flag for you – no legitimate company would operate without posting them.
Google the company. You might find that people have posted complaints, which should warn you off. The big sites, such as Yahoo and Monster, all warn about possible fraud and urge people to be on their guard. They also check the postings for jobs every day to try and make sure nothing illegal goes on. But, realistically, it’s impossible for them to police it completely.
Rather than be swept away, you need to be very careful and keep your wits about you. Question everything, if only to yourself.The sites the scammers create can be very sophisticated and convincing, enough to fool even the web-savvy and cynical. A lot of the information might seem innocuous. But it’s not, as long as they get what they need.
If it is a scam, you’ll get off very lightly if you start receiving a lot of junk mail. At worst, you could be facing a serious banking problem.