Excerpted from a blog by Kathleen Porter of Robinson+Cole LLP.
With more companies hiring over the past year, online recruiting scams have re-emerged to prey on job seekers and employers. The Better Business Bureau tracked more than 3,000 recruiting scams in the first 10 months of 2018 with losses in the millions of dollars.
With the online recruiting scam, the scammer fraudulently uses a company’s name and logo and perhaps the names of a company’s recruiting employees, to solicit applications from job seekers for fake jobs. Oftentimes, the companies are household names providing the scam an air of legitimacy. Sometimes the solicitation comes by email. Most often, it is posted on a recruiting website or social media platform. Like most phishing schemes, the scammer’s email address is similar to the legitimate company’s email address.
Job seekers responding to the scammers are offered fake job interviews by phone followed by fake job offers. As part of “onboarding,” scammers ask job seekers for sensitive personal information such as a social security number and bank account information for direct deposits. In some cases, the scammers even ask the job seeker for money to run background checks, obtain certifications or cover alleged “advance costs” of office supplies. Because many jobs today involve remote or home offices, these types of advance costs do not appear wholly unreasonable.
To shutdown this activity, employers have added a recruiting page (or even added to the page) on their corporate websites alerting job seekers that these recruiting scams exist and how to avoid them. The recruiting page details the company’s hiring process requiring job applicants to apply directly through the company’s website. There, job seekers can securely complete applications and upload a resume, avoiding the scammer’s trick inviting them to email documents or use a false link on a third-party website.
In addition, recruiting pages addressing these scams state that the employer would never ask a candidate for payment of any kind as part of the hiring or onboarding process. Most importantly, these recruiting pages warn candidates not to provide their sensitive personal information over the phone or by email.
If a company receives a call or email from an individual who has been scammed by a fake recruiter, the company could recommend the individual contact their state’s attorney general to report the scam. They should also report the scam to the recruiting website or social media platform that might have been involved.