You’ve probably felt the thrill that comes with receiving a job offer. You read the congratulatory email, begin to imagine life in your new role, then quickly fill out all the required HR paperwork and receive the necessary equipment. And if all is well, you start preparing for your first day. But what if you find out that the job isn’t real?
Studies show that in one quarter alone, Americans lost $68 million due to employment scams, and the Federal Trade Commission received 16,000 complaints about this type of fraud. Employment scams are highly convincing. Cybercriminals create fake job sites, advertisements, and postings that look legitimate, then impersonate recruiters and, in some cases, even conduct virtual job interviews.
Being on the other end of this can lead to dire consequences. Recent economic uncertainty and layoffs may make people more vulnerable to these scams and worsen the problem. But it is possible to outsmart the con artists by understanding why people fall for employment scams, how they work, and the red flags to look out for.