Scammers are hijacking online job offers. Here’s how to spot the fake ones

We’ve all been there, scrolling on the internet looking for a job. But be careful. Scammers are hijacking some job offers just to get your personal information.

A new way they’re doing it is by cloning outdated job postings from legitimate companies and targeting job seekers looking for employment on popular job search sites.

Rosario Mendez is with the Federal Trade Commission. 

“And they are offering, you know, jobs that say, ‘hey, you can work from home, make a lot of money, maybe as a personal assistant, as a teacher assistant, a customer service representative,’ and they all look very legitimate,” Mendez said, adding, “They’ll request personal and sensitive information like your social security number, home address, and other information the majority of employers require from applicants.”

She goes on to explain that scammers “sometimes say that they’re going to need to send your money to your bank account in order for you to buy equipment that you need, for example.”

The Federal Trade Commission wants to help you see the red flags before you decide to apply for a job you find online.

The FTC suggests:

  • Verify the job ad.
  • Visit the official company website you’re applying for and apply there instead.
  • A quick Google search of the company along with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint” could save you from falling for this scam.
  • And if they send you a check, and ask you to deposit it and return part of the money, it’s a scam. 

“With your social security number, your address, your phone number, all of those details. They can steal your identity and they can use that information to commit all their scams and frauds,” Mendez said.

If you spot a job posting you believe is suspicious, you can report it directly to the job site platform. They will investigate and take it down if it turns out to be a scam.

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