Employment scammers use the same techniques to post job listings online as legitimate businesses do. They use ads on social media, job websites and other platforms. When an applicant shows interest, they use that as a way to access personal information and even money.
Unfortunately, it came to our attention that our name was used in an employment scam, and we posted the following notice on our website:
Public Notice: It has come to Global’s attention that unknown parties have been advertising on various employment platforms purporting to be representatives of Global in an apparent attempt to defraud prospective applicants of money and obtain their confidential information.
Please be advised that Global has no available employment positions at this time, and when we do screen for job applicants we will never require you to obtain equipment for performing a position at our company via the purchase of Apple gift card, funds transfers on Zelle or any similar transaction.
Please contact Global directly at 480.478.7400 if you are viewing our website because of a job posting you have encountered as we are in the process of compiling information in order to identify the perpetrators of this scheme.
This incident prompted us to dive deeper into employment scams and share what we’ve learned with you. If you’re actively seeking a job, our hope is that this information can help you avoid being scammed. If you’re a business owner or executive, we hope this blog helps you protect your name from being associated with such activity.
How Do Employment Scams Work?
Scammers pose as company recruiting employees and lead applicants through the hiring process, including the application, etc. The fact that these criminals gain personal information is bad enough, but many go farther, convincing applicants to pay a recruiting fee or pay upfront for equipment or supplies they’ll need to use for their job. Rather than the applicant purchasing anything on their own, criminals demand they send “the company” payment, who’ll then purchase and send the equipment or supplies to the applicant. Of course, there is no job, no supplies needed and the applicant is out the money.
The rise of online job applications and employment websites means employment scams are on the rise. Just like other types of phishing scams, criminals can spoof a company’s name and website and go as far as conducting fake job interviews. The damage can include loss of money, stolen identity, accessing the applicants’ accounts, and more.
It’s easy to be fooled. Employment scammers easily create fake URLs, websites and job postings. They’re close enough to the real company’s information that many applicants overlook very slight changes, like one letter being different in the URL. Plus, since many interviews are being held online now, not attending an in-person interview doesn’t raise red flags. Sophisticated employment scammers go so far as to impersonate personnel from various departments to gain applicants’ trust.
Employers legitimately hiring ask for the same information as scammers, so it’s difficult to identify a scam from the real thing. That being said, here are six signs that might indicate an employment scam:
- Video interviews aren’t held via Zoom or other trusted platforms
- No phone numbers are associated with the interview or recruiter
- Recruiter or hiring manager has an email different than the company email address
- You’re asked to pre-purchase equipment or supplies you’ll need to perform the job for which you’re being hired
- You’re asked for a credit card number
- The job listing is on an employment site, but not listed anywhere on the company’s actual website
How Widespread are Employment Scams?
In 2020 alone, 16,012 people reported being victims of employment scams. Likely the number is higher since many victims feel embarrassed and don’t report the crime. An employment scam victim reached out to the Global Financial & Leasing Services team to let us know a criminal was using our name in job listings. Victims of any employment scam are encouraged to:
- Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov
- Report the activity to the website on which the job posting was listed, Indeed.com for example
- Report the activity to the company the cyber criminals impersonated, GFLS for example
- Contact your financial institution immediately of any fraudulent or suspicious activity
- Ask your financial institution to contact the financial institution where the fraudulent or suspicious transfer was sent, if a transfer was made (doesn’t apply to gift cards and such)
Not GFLS, nor any legitimate employer will ever ask for your credit card number, bank account, etc. as conditions of employment. Even after an applicant has been “hired,” he or she should verify the employer is real and not impersonating such before providing direct deposit information for payroll. And, of course, no legitimate employer will ask for gift cards to pay for anything.
It’s difficult to protect against employment scams today. We are not currently hiring, but many companies are. Follow the tips and advice above. Be vigilant. And, if there is anything our team can do to help, please contact us.