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

Be careful of those too-good-to-be true offers. Scammers could be on the other side waiting to steal your personal information

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Job postings are everywhere nowadays. You can see them outside of a work location, word of mouth, social media and online ads. It's important that while you’re looking for the best job offer, you don’t fall victim to those who take advantage of your willingness and desire to work.

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A new way they’re doing it is by cloning outdated job postings from legitimate companies and targeting job seekers looking for employment on popular job search sites.

“They are offering 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,” Rosario Mendez with the Federal Trade Commission said.

What happens after you apply to a fake job offer online?

They’ll request personal and sensitive information like your social security number, home address, and other data the majority of employers require from applicants. 

“They sometimes say that they're going to need to send you money to your bank account in order for you to buy equipment that you need,” Mendez added.

The FTC wants to help you see the red flags before you decide to apply to a job offer you find online. These are some steps the FTC suggests you take.

  • Verify the job ad: visit the official company website you’re applying for and apply there instead 
  • Do a quick online search of the company along with words like “scam,” “review” or “complaint”
  • If they send you a check and ask you to deposit it and return part of the money, it’s a scam! 

Mendez mentioned that “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.”

If you believe a job posting to be 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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