How To Avoid Fake Recruiter Scams

How To Avoid Fake Recruiter Scams

Has a recruiter approached you, but something just doesn’t seem right? As with almost everything else online, there’s a scam for that. There are scammers who pretend to be recruiters in order to access your confidential information and even your bank account.

For scammers, the end goal is always the same: theft. Sometimes, scammers try to deceive you into paying them cash as some type of fee for job processing. In other instances, they will attempt to steal a job applicant’s personal details (such as their social security number) for identity theft purposes.

What Is a Fake Recruiter Scam?

With this type of scam, the scammer might send you emails or make phone calls that lead you to think you’ve received a genuine job offer. Have you received an email or instant message from a recruiter who says you’re a perfect candidate for the job they are trying to fill? It could be legitimate, or it might be too good to be true. 

Fake recruiters often share positions at Fortune 500 companies, so the name recognition alone can lead you to believe the jobs are legitimate. The jobs often promise above-market salaries, and the recruiters don’t ask you for very much information about your skills or whether you’d actually be a good fit for the job.

These scammers also typically act very eager to “close the deal,” using time pressure to get you to give them what they want. 

How Recruiting Scams Work

Learn to recognize some of the warning signs of these and related job scams:

Requesting Personal Information

The fake recruiter may ask for all or the last four numbers of your social security number, along with other personal information. Another tip-off is if the recruiter asks you to provide your credit card number or checking account information.

Asking for Employment and Banking Information

The scammer might also ask you to fill out a simple form online to start the hiring process. They could even ask you to complete an application form, banking forms, and other documents that have employment terms and conditions. 

Offering a Job Without an Interview

The recruiter will seem much more interested in getting you excited about the job and collecting your information than in determining whether your skills actually qualify you. Some may even offer you the job without so much as a phone interview. Recruiters may say that the job does not require any skills or experience, or the salary may be much higher than the typical salary for the role. 

Tip: Genuine recruiters spend a lot of time making sure you’re the right fit for a company rather than giving you the hard sell to convince you to take a job.  

How Scammers Find You

The scammer most likely got your personal information by posing as an employer on a job site and accessing your resume that was posted online. Or the scammer could have connected with you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or another social media site.

How To Avoid Getting Scammed

Before you provide any personal information to a recruiter, check them out to make sure they are legitimate. For starters, check the person’s profile on LinkedIn or view the company page for their employer.

Check Out the Recruiter

If the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile has few connections or doesn’t have complete information, be on guard. Copy the recruiter’s photo and text from their LinkedIn profile, then paste it into Google and perform a search. Scammers often steal information from legitimate listings to create fake profiles.

Also, take note that recruiters don’t ever need your social security number.

Search the person’s name plus the word “scam” online to see if anyone’s posted any complaints. If you’re still not sure, ask for client references and check them out. The Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General’s Office can also be a source of information about scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Check Out the Company

If someone says they’re working directly for a specific company, verify that this “company recruiter’s” email address matches the genuine company’s site email address, and call the company to verify that they have an employee by the name of the person who’s contacting you. 

Also carefully check the company name. Some scammers with change a letter or two in the company name they use so it looks very similar to a legitimate organization.

Carefully check the job posting too. There are warning signs that will help you flag a fake job posting to avoid getting scammed.

Be Skeptical

 If it sounds too good to be true, it may be. Getting a job offer without an interview is extremely unlikely. Research recruiters before engaging with them. 

Don’t Pay

A legitimate job offer does not require you to pay before getting details. You shouldn’t have to pay to get considered for a job, or pay for supplies or equipment to get started.

Don’t Share Personal Information

Some job recruiter scams seek to steal your identity. Do not share credit card or bank account information or provide your social security number. 

Tip: Check out these common employment and job scams to learn how scammers are out to take advantage of you and check out the the top 10 warning signs that a job is a scam.

How To Report a Scam

Are you a victim of a recruiter scam? There are several ways to report a job scam, including:


More Hiring Scams To Avoid

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  • January 11, 2023