Job hunters urged to keep their guard up against scammers

FTC says $250M lost to business and job opportunity scams in first three quarters of ‘22
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 3:22 PM CST
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InvestigateTV - If you are on the hunt for a new job, experts said you should be on the lookout for potential scams after the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported that an estimated 14 million people are exposed to employment scams every year.

Josh Planos with the BBB said job seekers may be so focused on work opportunities that they have blinders on to potential scams.

Through September of 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported more than $250 million in losses tied to business and job opportunity scams with the typical victim losing around $2,000.

“Employment scams and phishing are north of 10% of the scam reports that we have tracked,” Planos said. “These are really concerning trends because these are particularly devastating scam types.”

The BBB released a detailed scam study in 2020 showing how con artists oftentimes post on legitimate job sites and pose as employers using multiple methods to trick applicants.

In one reported type of scam, the fake employers would set up virtual interviews via video conference but never show their face.

During those bogus interviews, the applicants said they got a series of personal questions and ended up divulging critical personal information. The report showed some victims even turned over bank account numbers to supposedly set up direct deposit at their new job.

InvestigateTV asked several job search engine sites about scams and what the companies were doing to protect job seekers.

Indeed reported that they’ve removed tens of millions of job listings each month that do not meet their quality guidelines.

ZipRecruiter said they use proprietary detection software and have a stringent client onboarding process to vet potential posers and deny access for those who fail to pass their screening process.

LinkedIn said they’ve rolled out new features to keep “inauthentic activity” off of their site.

Experts said beware of vague job descriptions and always report any suspicious posts from someone claiming to be an employer. If a potential employer asks you to pay for the promise of a job, it’s most likely a scam.

Planos offered one last bit of advice: If reading a post gives you pause, trust your gut feeling.

To report employment scams, visit the BBB Scam Tracker.