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Amer Owaida

Beware hiring scams using spoofed company websites

, February 6, 2020

Scammers are combining spoofed company websites and fake job ads to trick unsuspecting job seekers into surrendering their sensitive information and paying fraudulent fees, writes Amer Owaida, Security writer at ESET.
 
According to a recent public service announcement by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), fraudsters increasingly post job openings on legitimate job boards and, in order to boost their aura of authenticity, direct people to fake domains whose names resemble those of real, reputable companies.
 
The goal is to hoodwink job seekers into parting with their personal information that could be misused for a whole range of illicit activities, such as opening bank accounts or even forging identity documents in the victims’ names.
 
Many people, duly excited about the prospect of being hired, apply on the fake websites or respond to the ads. “According to victims, cybercriminals impersonate personnel from different departments, including recruiters, talent acquisition, human resources, and department managers,” said the FBI.
 
After the victim is interviewed and “hired”, they will receive a fake employment contract to physically sign, and a request to provide a copy of their personal information. Usually, that consists of a copy of a driver’s licence, Social Security number, direct deposit information, and credit card information. The
scammers may turn it up a notch by also requesting that the victim should pay upfront for a variety of things, such as a background check or equipment. After the money is transferred, their scam concluded, they stop replying.
 
It is understandable that in a quest for a job one gets so excited by the possibility of getting hired that one tends to overlook the warning signs of something being amiss. 
 
This is especially true if the job market is volatile and overcrowded , providing scammers with ample opportunity to trick job seekers.
 
One should always adhere to the golden rule “trust but verify”. Run a web search on the company one is seeking to join to see if anything suspicious comes up, such as multiple websites. 
 
Companies usually conduct on-site interviews – conference calls take place if one of the parties is not able to appear in person. When such calls take place, they are conducted through official channels.
 
Another thing that one needs to keep in mind is that an employer will never request your credit card
information. As for the personal information one provides for salary purposes, those are requested after on is been officially hired, and one can provide those in person to the accounting department at the company.
 
Job scams have been around for years, of course. According to its 2018 Internet Crime Report victims were swindled out of $45 million by hiring scams, an increase of $6 million compared to the previous year. The FBI reports that the average loss per victim is around $3,000 and a hit to their standing with their banks.-- Tradearabia News Service
 



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