What are Employment Scams?
Employment Scams are scams in which scammers target both job applicants looking for work and companies looking for hiring new employees. It is an identity theft “double whammy” in which scammers attack job aspirants and hiring employers at the same time.
Employment Scams are also known as job scams. In 2011, eight percent of reported identity theft complaints were employment-related. Scammers usually look for stealing Social Security Numbers of potential employees. Then they sell these valuable SSNs on the black market.
How Employment Scams Work?
Employment scams work in the following manner:
- Con artists know that finding a job can be very tough. They take advantage of the fact that many times, job aspirants are so much desperate for work that they provide their personal information in exchange for potential employment.
- Fraudsters pose as a representative of a genuine business. Then they list fake jobs online.
- They even create fake websites in order to steal personal information of genuine employees.
- To make it genuine, scammers often advertise where legitimate employers and job placement firms do such as online portals, newspapers, radio, TV, etc.
Signs of Employment Scams
Following are the signs to tell whether a job may be a scam:
- They demand payment to provide the job
The “job provider” (or basically, the scammer) may say that they can provide you a job if you just pay some required amount. They may say that the amount is a fee for certification, training materials, or their expenses to place you in the company. However, the truth is that employers and employment firms never ask for payment to provide a job.
- They ask for your credit card or bank account information
The job provider is definitely a scammer if he is asking for your credit card or bank account information as a part of your personal details. Never share such confidential information with anyone unless you are absolutely sure about sharing.
- Ads for “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs
Scammers may post ads for fake federal government jobs. They may say that the jobs were previously undisclosed and charge you for providing the information. As a matter of fact, the information about vacancies in federal jobs is absolutely free. All the federal jobs are available on usajobs.gov.
- Job Placement Services
Although many job placement services are legitimate, but many others are absolutely bogus. They make fake promises, promote fake job openings, and charge for services that may not lead to a job. They may not even return your calls once you pay.
How to Avoid Employment Scams?
Keep the following points in mind to avoid Employment Scams:
Security measures to be taken by job aspirants while applying for jobs:
- While looking for jobs, be very careful about sharing your personal information online. Never share your confidential details with anyone.
- If you find a job in an ad, contact that company directly to find out if the company is really hiring.
- If you are offered a job, get all the details in writing.
- Inquire about the job and the company till you are satisfied with the information. If they’re unwilling to answer your queries, you may actually get your answers.
Security measures to be taken by employers or companies while hiring:
Employment scam is different from CEO fraud. Both these scams require security measures to be incorporated. For avoiding Employment Scams, take the following measures:
- Shred unnecessary documents on former employees and non-hired applicants.
- Keep a data breach response and notification plan ready and act quickly if any data breach occurs.
- Firmly enforce regulations and ensure that everyone at the company is taking securities policies seriously.
- Train all departments, including human resources and accounting in protection from data security information policies and identity theft procedures.
- Carefully screen employees having access to personnel data and pass them through security clearances.
- Periodically review your data storage processes and decide whether or not to keep any information and how to keep it protected.
Reporting Employment Scams
If you’ve been a victim of a job scam, immediately file a complaint with the FTC.
For issues with any employment service firm, contact the respective state licensing board, state Attorney General, and your local consumer protection agency. Learn about National Identity Theft Prevention And Awareness Month to protect yourself.