Scammers are everywhere. From fake IRS calls, Nigerian prince emails, fake computer viruses and even job sites.
One of our users recently reached out to us regarding a job scam she ran into. They sent her a $3k signing bonus check, unlocked upon being hired, and asked her to do an interview on Whatsapp. During the interview, they asked her to install several different software on her computer, so she could be able to “perform” her new job. She had a funny feeling about the process and didn’t install anything. Instead, she took the check to the bank to ask her about it, and surprise! The bank told her the check was fake.
How can you spot a job scam?
Too good to be true
Some old sayings have been tested throughout times, and this is one of them. If the pay is too good for the job, be suspicious.
Who contacted who
If they contacted you claiming they found your resume online, double check their company.
Vague job posting
Scammers use vague descriptions to lure the most candidates they can, like the one above
“Management / Customer Service / Data Entry / Call Center Rep / I.T Support / Specialist in All Position / Financial & Business Analyst”
Or maybe during the interview, when you ask them about your duties and responsibilities, and they don’t really want to give you a clear answer.
Online Interviews not done on video
Many of these scammers are in the US, and are not even native English speakers, so they use messaging services, like Whatsapp, to hide either their accent and even their faces/surroundings (they might be trying to scam you from their own home)
Being asked financial information
Scammers might not always ask for you to install suspicious software. Some might ask you for your bank information so they can setup a direct deposit.
Or they can ask you to fill a credit form so they can run a credit check on you. Always
Being asked to pay for something
Being asked to pay for anything in order to be hired is a red flag. Scammers might ask you to pay for a credit report, or to buy a specific software so you can perform your job, or to have a professional company review your resume.
What can you do ?
Pay attention to the details. Scammers will often use small variations of well known companies to trick you.
Check the domain where the email came from. Was it mispelled?
They might try to trick you by sending you an email from @proctorgambel.com or @bancsofamerica.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
At a first glance, the emails above might look legitimate, but the first two are mispellings of the real ones while the last one uses a legitimate name, but from a domain that has nothing to do with Bank of America.
Research the company online. Nowadays it’s quite easy to setup a professional looking site in a matter of minutes. So, go a step further. Look for reviews on reputable job sites, like glassdoor.com or linkedin.com
Trust your gut
You might be hurting to get a job, but if your gut is telling something’s off with this company or the process, then slow down a bit. Don’t give any personal information until you do a proper research and feel comfortable enough to proceed.