Posts Tagged internet crimes

JOB SEEKER BEWARE; you could easily be victimized by internet scams

scams 2It wasn’t that long ago job seekers would fill out a paper application at a perspective place of employment. Today this is rarely the case; the internet has become an important and effective tool for those looking for work. The convenience of the internet saves time and enables job seekers to apply for more than one job without making several trips. This convenience comes with a price; the internet also provides anonymity for those pretending to be employers who are actually trying to get information for a scam or cyber crime.

scams 1These cyber crimes that victimize job seekers are on the rise in the United States. When you consider the abundance of information you provide on your resume, this should come as no surprise. Cyber criminals pretending to be a company can post a job opening on sites that provide anonymity, and sit back and wait for hundreds if not thousands of resumes that contain information for all types of different cyber crimes. The most common internet scam aimed at job seekers is the “work from home” scam. According to the FBI’s IC3.gov website statistics, work-at-home scams continue to increase now that more people use the internet to look for jobs. “Victims of work-at-home scams are often recruited by organized cyber criminals through online employment services, unsolicited e-mails or “spam,” and social networking websites. Victims of work-at-home schemes become “mules” for cyber criminals who use their financial accounts to steal and launder money.”

These cyber criminals entice job seekers with an easy work schedule and great pay. But if these terms sound too good to be true; its most likely a scam. Common characteristics of these types of scams require job seekers to receive a check and deposit it into their bank account. They will then be instructed to purchase supplies, tools, or office equipment from a specific vender. They will be told how to make this payment by depositing money in a different bank account set up by the cyber criminal. After the job seeker cashes the check and deposits in their account to make the required purchase, the funds are reversed because the check was not real. The job seeker, who becomes the victim at this point, and is liable for the money. The following is a transcript for an actual scam attempting to victimize a job seeker.

“Once you receive the cheque you are needed to have it deposited to your bank account via ATM machine nearest to you or VIA Teller, Once done you are to send me a copy of the deposit slip to my email for record keeping. Then the funds will be will be credited and available in your account for cashout next day(within 24hours). NOTE: All softwares are to be purchased from the software retailer the company has been buying from for years now and means of payment accepted by the vendor is via bank account of which i will be providing you with the vendors information you will be using in purchasing of your full mini office set up.”

In 2013 the IC3.gov website processed about 262,813 of these types of complaints, which involved over $781 million in losses. The FBI also ranks the highest number of internet scams per state with California in the lead, followed by Florida, then Texas as the top three for cyber crimes. When using the internet to seek employment, there are warning signs to look for and precautions you can take to protect yourself and your information:

  • Do not put your address on your resume; instead just put your city, state, phone number and email.
  • Do not give your social security number or bank account information.
  • If the person does not have a company email from a company that you’ve applied to, call the company they claim to be from to confirm if they actually work there.
  • Be very cautious of job postings that say “no experience necessary” or are vague in describing actual job duties.
  • Avoid deals where they claim they will send you a check up front to make purchases for training, equipment or software.

The best way to avoid being victimized is to know the company you are applying to. Look for job openings directly on a company’s website or confirm a company is real before you give them your information. The truth is cyber criminals might get caught; but as soon as they do others will be creative and devise new ways to entice and victimize job seekers. That’s why it is imperative for your own protection that you do some homework before submitting a resume to apply for a job openings.

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