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In brief: Applying for a new job usually means handing over a slew of personal information to potential employers, which is why the FBI is warning people to be wary of fake job ads on recruitment websites that can steal and sell your details.
The FBI's Internet Crime Center (IC3) Public Service Announcement warns that the average amount victims lost to fake job listings since 2019 is around $3,000. Scammers often spoof official companies’ job listings, using the same logos, language, images, etc., altering only the contact information. They’ve also been known to use names of actual company employees to make the ads appear more authentic.
It’s noted that the lack of strong security verification standards on one unnamed recruitment website allowed anyone to post a job on the site, including on the official pages of the company they were imitating.
The fake ads direct people to spoofed websites, email addresses, and phone numbers controlled by the scammers, allowing everything from names, addresses, and social security numbers to bank/credit card details to be stolen.
LinkedIn Transparency report
While the recruitment platform in question isn’t named, a Bleeping Computer report from August last year revealed anyone could create a job listing on LinkedIn on behalf of any employer without requiring verification. According to the Microsoft-owned firm’s transparency report, 11.6 million fake accounts were stopped at registration in the six months to June 30, 2021, though 85,700 accounts were restricted only after users reported them.
It seems that online scamming attempts in general are on the rise as more people work from home and spend extra time on the internet. The FTC recently revealed that the number of users who reported being swindled through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter reached a record 95,000 last year, with total losses reaching a massive $770 million. There was also the case of crypto scammers using a fake 'Amazon Token' website to trick victims.