Top 5 Employment Scams and How to Avoid Them
There are moments in our lives when we become more vulnerable than others, like when confessing feelings. Still, one vulnerability that goes overlooked often is much more literal than that, and it is the vulnerabilities we face online. We’re talking employment scams.
The vulnerabilities of having an online presence are as endless as the internet itself since there are so many things malicious entities can do with your personal information. Where people don’t foresee vulnerabilities is when looking for jobs on the internet, even though it is the most popular method for job searching now, making it prone to attacks and scams.
Who Is The Main Target?
The most exploited global demographic is baby boomers due to their illiteracy regarding internet safety. This generation comprises individuals around the age of 55 to 70 years. Younger generations disvalue their info; thus, handing it out isn’t considered a personal security breach.
What should you be cautious about when it comes to employment scams?
First and foremost, listings classified as work-from-home are an easy way for scammers to gain access to personal data, financial information, and so on. Other targets include data entry, marketing, social media, product assembly, etc.
Any unsolicited communications from potential companies or recruiters should also be questioned since they could easily lead to cyber fraud by pretending to be legitimate. Let’s look at five employment scams you should watch out for when searching for a job.
1. Fake URLs
Be wary of the source the job listing or recruiting email is from. Often scammers try to impersonate official, well-known companies to gain traction in the minds of job seekers. These scams display themselves as companies offering work-from-home jobs by creating a web URL slightly different from the actual site’s. These URLs are easily mistaken for real ones.
With practice, you will be able to differentiate between real websites and fake ones. It is also recommended to search for the company’s name, website, and information separate from the job listing. This method allows for double-checking information and avoiding scams altogether.
The dangers of falling for a fake URL scam are losing your personal information, identity theft, or even financial theft. If the company is asking for your personal information too soon, consider it might be a scam.
2. Fake Social Media Listings
As an active job seeker, your internet habits change to searching for jobs. This leads to your ads across social media and shifting from something like products to job ads. Social media is never as safe a platform as it could be due to the freedom anyone can find on it.
Social media job scams are relatively new thanks to social media’s general expansion to sectors other than just media, such as B2C. The scams vary depending on the social media platform the scammers are using.
If we look at Facebook scams, fake jobs are easily mistaken for legitimate ones since it is a platform of more direct connections between users, including groups, companies, and so on. You will quickly find fake job listings and Facebook pages advertising open positions.
As for Instagram scams, this giant platform has millions of bots recruiting for fake companies pretending to work with B2C products. These scams are obvious thanks to the nature of these profiles not having followers, a profile picture, or anything that indicates a legitimate person having tried communicating with you.
Your best bet in avoiding these scams is to Google the employer or recruiter and generally avoid social media as a means of finding jobs. Most of these opportunities tend to be scams unless a verified account tries to communicate with you.
3. Fake Job Listings On Job Boards
If you’ve ever heard of a specific job board, it is likely a legitimate site you can use to find employment. Unfortunately, there is still a chance that a particular job listing is a scam. These platforms do their best to remove scams since it is a security matter. Yet, you can still come across one.
Paying to list ads doesn’t deter dedicated scammers, so you must research the individual or company to avoid these. Do not believe anything that seems too good to be true or anything with grammar and vocabulary mistakes.
Be also aware of the fake Amazon jobs from home.
4. Promises Of Advancement
There is a fraction of job seekers who seek advancement in their careers or a new certification in order to advance. These promises appear in the form of emailed grants from a company or the government. You will be asked to apply online for the grant, through which you will receive a deposit to your account. The reality is they now have your personal and banking information.
5. Government Job Scams
These scams promise positions in the government where you have to pay to apply or for materials to prepare for an exam to receive the job. These scams are evident since governmental positions are free of charge and are usually posted to websites ending in “.gov.”
If you research companies and employers and use common sense in situations, you will be able to avoid getting victimized while looking for a job. You are safer by using reliable job search engines like Lensa or other verified platforms.
How To Report Employment Scams
Let your family and friends know about these common employment scams by sharing this article on your social media accounts. You can also officially report scammers and any other suspicious offers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
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