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What Are the Impacts of Applying to a Fake Job Posting?
Cover Letter / Interviewing process / putanotherwayllc / Resumes

What Are the Impacts of Applying to a Fake Job Posting?

May 23, 2024

Finding a new job requires an investment of time and energy, from working with a résumé writer to creating an outstanding cover letter and résumé to polishing your LinkedIn profile and then combing through job listings and submitting applications. And when you land that perfect job, you know that all of that investment has been worth it.

But, in some cases, job seekers find that they’ve applied to—or even been “hired” for—a job that’s actually part of a scam. (Read our post, “10 Red Flags to Spot a Fake Job Posting,” to find out if this has happened to you.)

For anyone who has been the victim of a job scam, the shock and disappointment can feel immense, but there are also significant tangible impacts to be faced: identity theft and bank fraud. Read on for more information and a few ways to respond to this type of crime.

Identity Theft

Can someone steal your identity with a job application? Unfortunately, the answer is yes—and it’s happening more often, according to the United States Secret Service. In the last few years, authorities have increased security measures in response to higher rates of unemployment insurance fraud during COVID-19.

To get past these tougher verification requirements, scammers are now turning to a new tactic: listing phony job postings in an attempt to steal applicants’ sensitive information. In some cases, these fake jobs are listed on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn; there are also instances of “phishing” scams where victims are contacted by a fake employer via phone, email, or text and are asked to click on a link to enter their personal information as part of the application process.

While it’s not uncommon for legitimate employers to ask for personal information (such as a Social Security number) and documentation (such as a driver’s license or passport) when conducting a background check, scammers are more likely to ask for these details right off the bat, sometimes even within the application itself.

Once the scammer has the information they need, they can use that to attempt to create a Social Security account in the person’s name, file false unemployment claims, access their medical records, or hack into their online accounts.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, victims of identity theft can take a few essential steps to protect their credit and finances: close any affected accounts, report the crime to the police, and place fraud alerts with the major credit reporting companies.

Bank Account Scams

Other serious impacts of falling victim to a job scam are sending money under false pretenses or inadvertently giving a scammer access to a bank account.

One way criminals trick job seekers into sending money is by offering the candidate a position and then asking them to send payment upfront for training. (This is especially common in scams related to data entry jobs.) Similarly, with fake work-from-home jobs, the new employee may be asked to send a check to pay for office equipment such as a computer, monitor, and keyboard. They’re told the company will reimburse them in their paycheck, but of course, the money—and the supplies—never arrive.

Scammers can also gain access to bank accounts by requiring applicants to provide their banking information before they’re offered the job. A legitimate employer will eventually ask for bank details to pay their employees via direct deposit. Still, a scammer is more likely to ask for that information early on before anyone catches on.

A bank account can also be compromised by wire transfer scams, as shown in a story featured on the AARP podcast The Perfect Scam. In this example, when a woman was hired for a remote job, her new employer sent her a check to pay for training and supplies. After she deposited the check into her account, she was told to wire those funds to a company that would then send her the supplies. Ultimately, she never received the supplies, and the check she had deposited from her employer was returned, leaving her bank account drained.

For those who have experienced any type of bank account fraud, AARP’s Vice President of Financial Resilience Programming Carly Roszkowski suggests filing reports with law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission and reporting the scam to the AARP Fraud Watch Network and the website where the job was listed.

Fake Job Postings

In addition to the growing number of job scams, there are listings for jobs that companies do not intend to fill. This can happen if a company is testing the job market by assessing applicants’ responses if an employer wants to build up a roster of prospects for possible future openings, or sometimes even because a company wants to give an impression of growth and profitability by posting fake jobs.

While these listings are not scams, candidates seeking out these positions will pay the price of wasted time and frustration as they’re unlikely to ever hear back about the job. In these cases, the best course of action is usually to focus instead on applying to other companies in your area of interest.

Be Armed with Knowledge

As you’re looking for jobs online, it’s important to be aware of these types of scams so that you can spot any red flags and know how to protect yourself if you find you’ve been targeted by a cybercriminal.

And, when you’re preparing to apply for the jobs that are right for you, start by reaching out to The Virtual Copywriter

Resume writer near me

Sources

https://www.propublica.org/article/scammers-are-using-fake-job-ads-to-steal-peoples-identities,  https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/common-job-search-scams-how-to-protect-yourself-v2/, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-spot-a-fake-job-offer, https://www.aarp.org/podcasts/the-perfect-scam/info-2024/fake-job-scams.html, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2024/02/13/if-you-thought-the-job-search-was-rigged-against-you-heres-why-youre-not-wrong/?sh=120a78cd780e, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-do-i-do-if-i-think-i-have-been-a-victim-of-identity-theft-en-31/

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