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How to Protect Yourself from Employment Scams in the Cleared Community

Posted by Ashley Jones
employment scams

Employment scams have long plagued job seekers in the cleared community, as well as other industries. These scams target unsuspecting individuals with promises of lucrative job opportunities and use deceptive tactics to extract personal information or financial gains.

We were joined by Kirsten Renner of Accenture Federal Services and Kris Rides of Tiro Security and Via Resource on a podcast episode of Security Cleared Jobs: Who’s Hiring & How. They discussed various types of employment scams they’ve encountered and offered valuable insights on how job seekers can protect themselves. Read some of their insights below or listen to the episode here.

Three Types of Employment Scams

Let’s delve into the different types of employment scams that often target job seekers:

Fake Job Listings – Employment scammers create enticing job postings that mimic legitimate opportunities. Job seekers are drawn to these postings due to the promise of excellent pay, benefits, and job security. However, the ultimate goal of many scammers is to harvest personal information from applicants, which they can use for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Additionally, some scammers may use these fake job listings to lure candidates into paying upfront fees for processing applications or background checks.

Advance Fee Scams – One common employment scam involves requesting candidates to pay upfront fees for various purposes. These fees may be presented as administrative costs, training expenses, or other reasons related to the job application. Scammers disappear once the candidate sends the money, leaving them with no job and a financial loss. Job seekers should never pay any fees in advance for job applications or interviews, as reputable employers do not require such payments.

Phishing Scams – Phishing is a well-known cybercrime technique employed by scammers to trick individuals into providing sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, financial details, or login credentials. In employment scams, scammers impersonate legitimate employers or government agencies, sending deceptive emails or messages to job seekers. These emails may claim that the candidate has been selected for a job and request personal information for further processing. Unsuspecting candidates who fall for these phishing scams may become victims of identity theft or financial fraud.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so do employment scam tactics, so it’s important to remain vigilant and listen to your gut if you notice red flags.

Real-Life Example of an Employment Scam

During the podcast episode, the guests shared real-life examples of employment scams they had encountered or heard about. One particularly alarming case involved a bad actor reaching out to job seekers, falsely congratulating them on receiving a job offer from a reputable company. The scam included a relocation package that required candidates to pay upfront for apartment rentals or security deposits. Thankfully, vigilant candidates reported the scam, leading to law enforcement intervention and thwarting the fraudulent activities.

Protect Yourself from Employment Scams

Consider these tips to help you stay one step ahead of employment scams:

  • Thoroughly Research Potential Employers. Before applying for any job, job seekers should conduct extensive research on the prospective employer or recruiter. Check the company’s website, read reviews, and look for any red flags or suspicious activities. If the company is well-known, try reaching out to current employees on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to verify the legitimacy of the job offer.
  • Verify Contact Information. Scammers often use clever tactics to mask their true identity and deceive job seekers. Verify the contact details provided in emails or messages, ensuring they align with the official company website. Additionally, look for any discrepancies in email addresses or domain names, as these can be telltale signs of a scam.
  • Trust Your Instincts. If a job offer seems too good to be true or raises any suspicions, trust your gut feeling and be cautious. Reputable employers will follow standard hiring procedures and will not rush you into making decisions or paying upfront fees.
  • Confirm Recruiters’ Identities. When interacting with recruiters, especially those you have not previously engaged with, ask for more information about their affiliation with the company. Reputable recruiters will willingly share their company’s name, contact details, and website. Cross-check this information with the official company website to ensure the recruiter’s legitimacy.
  • Build a Network of Trusted Recruiters. Maintaining relationships with trusted recruiters throughout your career can be invaluable. These recruiters can offer guidance, verify potential offers, and provide insights into the job market. Cultivating a network of reliable recruiters can also lead to future job opportunities.
  • Take Your Time to Evaluate Opportunities. Employment scammers thrive on urgency and prey on job seekers who are eager to secure their next career move quickly. Resist the pressure to rush into decisions. Legitimate employers understand the importance of thoughtful consideration when making a career move. If you encounter a job offer that demands an immediate response or seems too good to be true, take a step back. Give yourself time to research the company, verify the details, and consult with trusted friends or family members. High-pressure tactics are a red flag for potential scams. A genuine job offer will still be there after you’ve had time to think things through.

Stay vigilant, be cautious, and always prioritize your security and well-being in the pursuit of your professional goals. By conducting thorough research, verifying the legitimacy of job offers and recruiters, and trusting your instincts, you can navigate the cleared job market with confidence and security.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 14, 2023 9:00 am

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