Cybercriminals Are Scamming Job Seekers and They May Use Your Brand to Do It

Look out, employers! Scammers are targeting some of the most trusted employment brands in the world – and yours could be next.

Unfortunately online scamming isn’t new, and now we’ve heard from our CandE community that a spate of fake job ads is sweeping through social media and other talent outlets, and every ad is aimed at a single goal: to extract personal information or money from unsuspecting job seekers.

For instance, a Facebook page infamously promoted fake jobs in South Africa and Kenya, which was called out by global fact-checking organization, AFP. And published a post about fake Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles, and Tweets that all peddle fake jobs. The situation has gotten so bad we’ve had people bring it up during a recent Talent Board networking call.

These fake ads look legitimate because the scammers use official company logos, tag lines, and other intellectual property from real employers. The scammers pretend to be recruiters working for these trusted brands and they con job seekers into believing the jobs actually exist. They may even hold fake interviews and assessments. At some point, the “recruiters” ask job seekers for personal information or even some form of payment. It may sound crazy but the scammers use a whole host of disgustingly creative tactics to win the trust of job seekers and to make payment seem a reasonable part of the process. And they could very easily claim to be one of your recruiters next.

So, How Can You Fight Back?

While you may not be able to prevent this kind of fraud from happening, you can definitely protect your company’s reputation as well as interested job candidates. Post details on your company’s website and/or Careers page regarding how your recruiting process works and how your recruiting team actually interacts with candidates. This can be a brief overview of what your company will always or never do when recruiting talent (such as this example from Flex), or you can post a more comprehensive set of tips to help job seekers (such as this example from TTEC).

Here are some of the warnings you might consider sharing with job seekers, culled from TTEC and other sources:

  • Never send personal information (your date of birth, SSN, bank details, etc.) before you speak to a recruiter whose identity you’ve verified.
  • Remember that legitimate employers will not ask you to send checks, gift cards, or money orders in exchange for an interview or to begin onboarding you.
  • Don’t assume jobs are real just because they’re advertised on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. All of these organizations’ profiles, pages, and posts can be copied and faked.
  • Make sure you’re talking about job openings with authorized representatives of the company. For example, if individuals contact you via a personal email account, be wary. They should at least provide you a direct link to the posting on the company’s official Careers site.
  • If your contacts are evasive or cagey about providing contact details, official company links and materials, or anything else that would help you easily verify the job opportunity, don’t risk moving forward. End the discussion.
  • Offers that sound too good to be true usually are. Contact the company directly (using contact detail on its Careers page or website) to verify the request is legitimate.

You might also consider sharing resources from third-party experts, such as this article from Krebs on Security about how to tell a genuine job offer from a scam.

At a time where more employees are quitting and employers are struggling to source, recruit and hire people across all job types, job scams like this can further tarnish your business and its brand and deteriorate your candidate experience. Your real recruiters and TA team should regularly scan social media, job boards, and other talent communities for fake jobs in your company’s name. If they do find bogus jobs, they should contact the sites or outlets to request immediate action. If you have legal counsel be sure to alert them as well.

Speaking of your candidate experience and the impact on your business and brand, we recommend you participate in Talent Board’s 2021 benchmark research program. The deadline to complete our candidate survey research is August 31, 2021, so register today here.


Be safe and well.

Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President

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