More scammers targeting victims looking for jobs online

In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission reported more than $250 million in losses tied to business and job opportunity scams.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 5:30 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:03 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Looking for a new job can be stressful and time consuming. Scammers are scanning the same sites as you, looking for new targets instead of jobs and that puts you at risk. “Folks are really thinking about their employment status in ways that they never have before, and because of that there are opportunities to have their blinders on to a fault,” said Josh Planos, expert with the Better Business Bureau.

In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission reported more than $250 million in losses tied to business and job opportunity scams. The typical victim loses 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 post on legitimate job sites. They pose as employers and use multiple methods to trick applicants. Victims say the fake employers set up virtual interviews via video conference but never showed the victims their face. During those bogus interviews, applicants said they were asked a series of personal questions and ended up divulging critical personal information. Some even turned over bank account numbers in order to set up direct deposit at their new jobs.

Job sites are working to fight this. For example, Indeed says they’ve removed tens of millions of job listings each month that do not meet their quality guidelines. ZipRecruiter told us they use “proprietary detection software” and that they “have a stringent client onboarding process to vet potential posers and deny access for those who fail to pass their screening process.” Linkedin says they’ve rolled out new features to keep “inauthentic activity” off of their site.

Experts say to beware of vague job descriptions, and to report any suspicious posts from someone claiming to be an employer. In short, if you’re paying for the promise of a job, it’s most likely a scam. “If you have some concerns just by reading the job posting, that should be a sign,” Planos said. “Typically, your gut is going to lead you in the right path in terms of getting questions answered. So, if you have a question, speak up.”