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Employee Recruitment Scams (Yes, This is a Thing!)

If there are any trust issues in the employee recruitment process, they’re usually from the perspective of the recruiter. Is this candidate embellishing their resume? Providing false information? Leaving out an arrest record? As representatives of our employers to those who want a job, our trustworthiness is rarely called into question, especially with those just entering the workforce straight out of college. Until now. Thanks to some industrious scammers who have figured out a way to make money from folks looking for a job, the almost blind-faith exhibited by most job seekers may be a thing of the past.

ScamThe FBI issued an alert late last week announcing that employment scams targeting college students who are seeking employment are prevalent. According to the FBI notice the scammers advertise phony job opportunities on employment websites aimed at students and recent college grads or send emails to this population recruiting them for fictitious positions. These particular employment “opportunities,” however, lead to a financial loss for the job seekers.

Here’s how the scam works: Scammers post online job advertisements soliciting candidates for administrative positions. Once a position is accepted, the new “employee” will be told that they have to purchase work related materials (software, hardware, etc) in order to begin the onboarding/training process. They are told that they employer will pay for these materials but that they must be ordered from the approved vendor. The new “employee” receives a check that they deposit into their personal bank account. They are often told to take a few hundred dollars as their first pay but to use the rest to purchase the materials from the employer approved vendor. Most often these purchases are done electronically. So the new “employee” deposits the check and uses the money before the bank confirms that the check is fraudulent.

Consequently, the new “employee’s” bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity (not to mention the report to law enforcement and/or the credit bureau). They are also responsible for reimbursing the bank the amount of the counterfeit check. The true icing on the cake, however, is that they have most likely given the fake employer all of their private, personal information, making them very susceptible to identity theft.

If you’re thinking there’s no connection between this and your organization, think again. Sometimes the recruitment postings and emails actually appear to be from companies who are both reputable and familiar. Unless the candidate looks closely at the domain name and double checks to be sure it is the same domain used by the company, any organization can be used as a disguise.

Remember our earlier post about employer branding? This type of scam makes it even more important to establish an employer brand – even if you’re a small business! In addition to safeguarding your reputation as an employer and serving as a value proposition to employees, it may also be what you need to establish trust with new recruits!

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