How to Avoid Recruiting Scams on Social Media

Do you know the warning signs of scams when applying for a job? In third-world countries , unscrupulous individuals or organizations thrive on batting expats , but in the United States, where the rules are much more strict, it is not as much; however, that doesn’t mean that thieves will try to lure you into a job that is either non-existent or after your identity or both, especially when it is done online. Let’s see how we can avoid falling into these traps.

LinkedIn is the foremost business and employment social networking platform for employers and graduates and has revolutionized the recruitment process. It is the primary professional online resource in play today.

The service has been in operation for 15 years and boasts of an incredible 546 million members in over 200 countries worldwide. This includes 46 million graduates who are seeking jobs. Also, over 20 million employers can be found on the network. LinkedIn serves as a bridge between both parties.

It includes relevant details like education, skills and references, which means it serves as your online CV. Suffice it to say, LinkedIn is in a league of its own. However, like all conceptions of the digital age, the service is prone to its fair share of scams.

Given that a lot of potentially sensitive information is made available on the website, con artists may look to exploit it. Below, we will have a detailed look at the types of violations orchestrated on the website.

Fake Jobs on LinkedIn

The most obvious method of bluffing users is by posting fake jobs. This is a tried and tested practice, which involves people who pretend to be recruiters.

They offer enticing job opportunities to graduates. Generally, if the job prospect appears too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. This fact has been confirmed by BBC, who reported that security firm Symantec examined the service and found many fake accounts in operation.

Popular ploys used in this scheme are work from home offers. Impostors try to lure susceptible users by sending them messages on their LinkedIn inbox. They will provide details of jobs, which can be performed from a remote location and where employees are not required to attend office. To make this offer seem authentic, they will give guarantees that it is absolutely legitimate as well.

Job seekers, especially if they have no prior experience or are in desperate need for jobs, might be vulnerable to commit to an offer that does not actually exist. They may execute the responsibilities they are assigned. However, they will end up not getting paid for their work, not to mention the private information they may have to deluge.

Plenty of employers offer jobs that are part time or casual in nature. A work from home option is also used where possible. This gives scammers a chance to carry out extortion and blackmail. Once they have successfully misled their victims, they can disappear without a trace.

Naturally, to avoid such circumstances, LinkedIn members are advised to be cautious, particularly when they are on the hunt for jobs. Committing corporate identity theft is one of the primary tactics used by scammers on the website. They post fake job ads with the hope of deceiving users.

To gauge the credibility of employers, users are encouraged to do their research as well. They should go through the recruiter's profile, see how many other users are attached to their page etc. This will give them a better idea if they should proceed with the offer or not.

Fake Jobs Offers on Facebook

Although Linkedin focuses primarily on job searching professionals, they are not the only social online source where you can apply for work. Recruiting fraud may be conducted on other platforms as well. Scammers prey on members and in so doing, they may create full Facebook profiles and pages dedicated to fictitious jobs to attract users and make money illegitimately.

Bogus accounts and fake profiles are a consequence of social media and networking websites. For example, Facebook recently acknowledged that 270 million of its 2.2 billion users are actually fake and have duplicate accounts.

A practical approach to determining if a company is legitimate is to research them. Read their reviews and check out who is contacting you if you can.

A warning sign on Facebook would be when you get a friend message saying something that might intrigue you, but you might have never heard of this person. A common sense approach to this would be - why would any professional company want to friend me? Many people follow this simple fraud prevention technique: If you don’t know the person who friends you, don’t friend them back! This suggestion is good for any number of reasons. Not just for job offers.

Fake Jobs Offers on Twitter

Micro blogging website Twitter is also targeted for this purpose. They post links which lead to other websites which may contain a virus first of all. Secondly, the job prospects displayed on the link may turn out to be a sham as well. As always, caution is urged. User should check whether the employer's pages have enough followers on Facebook or if their account is verified on Twitter.

Scams can also show up on job boards. Although the board may be real, certain jobs posted there might be false. The cost of membership and posting jobs on these platforms will be negligible and would give scammers direct access of thousands of users who they can manipulate.

It is expected that those running the job boards must complete their own validation process to begin with. This would eliminate fake accounts. If they still manage to survive, then the suggestion for users is to look before they leap. They must double check the profile and links to know for sure.

The promise of a romantic connection

Those looking to defraud social network members may also express an interest in forming a personal relationship, generally of the romantic variety. Although there are designated dating applications like Tinder available for such purposes, con artists may still pose as a different gender to tempt others.

They may send a request to begin with or might send a message. This will include hollow compliments and people may be forthcoming and effusive in their praise. However, this would be nothing more than persuasion tactics.

Swindlers will begin with outrageous praise to bait unsuspecting users. They will also try to capture their attention with outlandish claims like suggesting a meeting, even if they are in a different country! If a user gives in, they may expose their personal information like cell phone number, home address and email to scammers. On top of the information already available on LinkedIn, this will mean that scammers will have access to all the significant information of the particular user.

Such users will have attractive profiles with the perfect picture and information that sticks out. They may not even be in your field of work, which is a common indicator that they are fake.

While forming a romantic link on LinkedIn, is not beyond the realm of possibility, the danger of being duped is quite high in such cases.

Tips to avoid such dilemmas, users are asked to be proactive rather than reactive. The best defense is a good offense and LinkedIn members should proceed with caution generally; and specifically if they are skeptical.

Posted On May 13, 2018