By Catherine Lang-Cline
Yes, job search scams are happening. Just when you think people can’t get more terrible, criminals are preying on people looking for work. They are also misrepresenting actual companies. We are hearing about this more and more. People are gathering your information to file for unemployment, get your social security number, or credit card numbers. While not foolproof, here are at least 3 ways to detect if it is a scam:
A job posted on a job board is not seen on the company website. While some companies rely on external job boards to find candidates, check the actual website of the company that is posting the job. If they do not have a job board, call and ask if they are looking for someone to fill that role. As a business, check and see if jobs are posted for your company that you are not advertising for, and then get the word out that this is a false posting.
People are interviewing on virtual calls and not having their cameras on. While we all get a little camera shy, if the person interviewing you does not have their camera on, they may not be working from that company. This means for hiring managers and HR that if you are interviewing someone, have your camera on. Interviewer and interviewee should see each other to make each other comfortable but considering false interviews are happening, just handle it like it was an interview in person, make it face to face. Ask questions if you cannot see the person. And again, look up the company online for the job role and ask to speak to the person who just interviewed you for follow-up before doing anything. Talk to the person, as someone could be an imposter.
Don’t give away your private information. People are being convinced that they are filling out tax forms for a new job when in fact, they are simply handing over their information. People are giving their credit card numbers to “secure” the cost of delivering a computer to their door to work remotely. This all gets very challenging as we are all relying more and more on digital services to live our lives but as always, beware. Companies and recruiters never need your credit card information and they won’t need any personal information until you have a job. Again, if you are accepting a job, check and double-check the person making the offer and the company or recruiting firm exist.
One more thing to consider is to rely on referrals. Do you know anyone else at that company that you can check in with? Even if you don’t, companies should be very helpful in sorting out anything you might be unsure of. Above all, they want a great candidate and would love to know if any undesirable activities are happening in the name of their business.
As a reminder, if you are searching for a role in marketing, we would love to help you in your search and be a liaison to companies you wish to look for. We have been doing this for 17 years and we are pretty connected.