Linkedin Job Offer Scam: How It Works
Recruiting on Linkedin is a two-edged sword as the website becomes more popular. The LinkedIn job posting cost is not cheap but has become effective. Unfortunately, some issues come with it, especially now that many people are at home after the pandemic and trying to change their resumes to look good online. So, be careful whether you are in the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom. Here is how one of the most prevalent LinkedIn scams work, below.
You’ll get a very tempting offer on LinkedIn scam. Check out the screenshot below to see a real LinkedIn message received – I will analyze and dissect for you.
How real is it? Let me expose it.
Hiring scams are so prevalent nowadays that most people start recognizing them as they pop up in our newsfeeds on Facebook or Instagram. It’s not the same thing we could say about widespread fraudulent practices via more serious mediums — such as LinkedIn — where people log in with a business mindset. One of the latest traps coming this way is the LinkedIn Job Offer Scam, a.k .a. the Recruiting on LinkedIn Hook. Let’s take a close look at it.
We all need contacts and good connections to improve our jobs or businesses. Unsurprisingly, we are requested to ‘connect’ on LinkedIn with individual “movers and shakers.”
We often click “Accept,” not entirely knowing the other person, but rather when we see the name of their employer or business. Big brand names and pompous titles – these connections can provide valuable insights and opportunities and broaden your professional network. Getting a little up close and personal doesn’t hurt.
You may have received many requests lately to connect on LinkedIn from representatives of various businesses worldwide.
You might not know these people, and it is OK not to accept them. But what if the person requesting your approval lives in your city, holds a decision-making position with a great company, and, above all, has many connections in common with you? LinkedIn has measures to protect your privacy, and you can always control what information you share. We know you’ll accept it.
Recently, one of our team members at Scam Detector received a connection request just like that. You saw it in the first screenshot of this article. The job position held by the requester was “Consultant,” but her previous job was “Recruiting Manager” at a public accounting & financing recruiting specialist company. She had six common connections, and her resume looked trustworthy and legitimate. Last but not least, she had a bunch of endorsements from her contacts.
Little did we know that scammers hacked into her LinkedIn profile and sent the same absolute message to all her connections. They picked the perfect profile: an older business person, experienced, with many endorsements, and a recruiting job.
As mentioned, a couple of days after connecting, “Donna” sent this private message (see the image), with the subject title “Job Opportunity”:
“My sincere apologies for this unannounced approach. I am Donna [last name], a Public Relations Officer with Acer Inc. This is a reach out to you – that Acer Inc. needs a financial coordinator here. This is a part-time job offer, so you can earn extra income while doing your regular job/business. If interested in this position, kindly reply to the recruiter agent Mr. Kengean Tan (email address), for more info.
Best Regards, Donna.”
As this message came from a reliable connection but had a certain amount of weirdness, our team member replied, asking for more details. He got a response within 5 seconds – an automated message saying, “Please connect with Kengean Tan for more details ASAP.” Our employee decided to play some more and sent a message to Kengean. This is what he got back:
“Your email was received, and we appreciate your correspondence. I represent Acer Incorporated a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturer. Our company owns the largest franchised computer retail chain in Taipei, Taiwan. Acer is the third largest computer manufacturer in the world (by sales) after HP and Dell Inc. and its product lineup includes desktops and laptops, as well as personal digital assistants (PDAs), servers and storage, displays, peripherals, and e-business services for business, government, education, and home users.”
“We are in need of representatives in different regions in Canada, due to the challenges in processing payments here in Taiwan from our customers/clients, it’s been proven that customers/clients especially debtors respond to debt owned when means of remittance is available within the confine of their region. We need you as close contact between us and our customers/clients in your area when assigned as one of the company representatives.”
“DETAILS OF FUNCTION: Maintain effective communications with management of Acer. Establishes, develops, and maintains business relationships with current customers and prospective customers in the assigned territory. Secure orders from existing and prospective customers through a relationship-based approach and maintain proper records of transactions & receive and process payment from customers Also, this is a part-time job, you will be earning extra income while doing your normal Job/Business.”
“QUALIFICATIONS: Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be results-orientated and must be willing to work as required. Note that you are entitled to 10% of every payment processed through you, and you would be placed on a monthly salary of $2,000.00 to $7,000.00 based on agreement.”
“If interested in this position, do email us, requesting our fill-able application form, and it will be made available to you.”
“For more information, please visit our website. Sincerely, Kengean Tan – Acer Taiwan Inc.”
Our employee pretended to be interested and continued the conversation, asking for details about how the job works. Kengean replied: “You will be taking orders from our customers in Canada and forwarding them to us; also, they will be making payments through you to us. You will be entitled to a 10% commission on each completed transaction plus a $2,200.00 monthly allowance. If interested, let us know and fill out this form (form attached).
Perfect, easy money! Our team member was interested. He filled out the form with fake credentials and sent it over. As soon as the email went through, he got a Delivery Status Notification that Kengean’s email address (email@example.com) was not active anymore.
However, we wanted to know the secret of taking orders from our customers and forwarding them to us; also, they will make payments through you. We decided to dig deeper. After extensive research, we found out how the scam works:
Their customers in your country are the scammers themselves. They tell you what products they want to order and will pay you with checks. The moment you receive the check, you are required by the Kengeans of the Internet to keep your 10% commission and send the 90% to the company right away.
For example, if the “customers” would order and send you a check for $1,000, you would deposit the check and wire $900 to the company immediately. You don’t know that the check will bounce in a few business days, and you will be $900 poorer.
Watch the video below to see other LinkedIn Job Offer scams exposed:
Recruiting on LinkedIn Scam: How to Avoid
As soon as victims report them, scammers change the names they use and their email addresses. Learn how the scam works, not the names of the real people they take advantage of. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
If they hack into somebody’s profile, make sure you check with that person for the integrity of the message in other ways, not through the LinkedIn profile. Sometimes, even the profiles are fake, not necessarily hacked into. Look for familiar friends, find them, and ask if they received the same offer.
Look for the email addresses the scammers use. If they claim they work for a significant company, the email should not come from a Hotmail or Yahoo address. This is worth checking it out, primarily since sometimes scammers use real names and impersonate real people, but they use a different email address.
LinkedIn Job Offer Scam: How To Report
Warn your family and friends about the LinkedIn Job Offer Scam. Sharing this article on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to both LinkedIn and the authorities using the links below:
How To Prevent Identity Theft and More
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Meanwhile, educate yourself with some other fraud-related articles right under this paragraph, so that you can protect yourself in many other aspects and niches. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
Here are some must-reads for the end:
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