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Scammers are lurking on LinkedIn and other job sites, posing as “recruiters” for well-known companies. But instead of looking to hire you, they’re really looking to take your money and personal information.

It starts with a direct message on a job search site like Indeed or LinkedIn. The “recruiter” says you have exactly the skill set they’re looking for. Next, they’ll email an official-looking invitation for a virtual interview along with a Job Briefing guide that gives you details about your job duties and job benefits. (Did that email come from a personal email, not a company account? That’s a red flag.) After the virtual interview, you get an official-looking offer letter, complete with the company’s name and logo.

But after they offer you the job, they’ll push for your money and personal information. You’ll get an invoice (it’s fake) for equipment like a computer they’ll order for you, but tell you to pay for — using cash, Zelle, or PayPal. They promise to reimburse you. But they won’t because it’s a scam.

Or, instead, they’ll ask for your personal information, like your driver’s license, Social Security, or bank account number, to fill out “employment paperwork.” And they want it before they’ll answer your questions about the job. But if you share it, they might steal your identity.

To spot these scams, know that honest employers will never ask you to pay upfront fees for a job or for equipment. And they won’t ask you to pay them using cash, Zelle or PayPal. Anyone who does is a scammer.

To avoid these scams, never give out personal information before doing some research. Contact the company directly using a phone number you know to be legitimate — not one you got from the “recruiter.” Or go to the company’s website. If you can’t confirm the job is real, it could be a scam.

The FTC has resources to help you spot job scams. If you spot a scam, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Ella Williams
August 08, 2023

I will be aware of the scam.

FRANCOIS
August 08, 2023

Forrest said it best, "STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES"

SM
August 09, 2023

In reply to by FRANCOIS

True but some of these scammers are VERY sneaky and good at fooling those who don't know about this yet or what to look for. You don't know what you don't know. Especially those who aren't tech-savvy enough to realize how easily and often this stuff happens.
Don't victim blame please.

Sue S.
August 08, 2023

Maybe if a place is added to upload/add Documents/Video/ Files when Reporting Fraud, it will be of tremendous help on Reporting Frauds.

SM
August 09, 2023

In reply to by Sue S.

This is a good idea and there may be places but IDK for sure rn. It's been years since my last ID theft (thankfully, bc of info like this) but reporting does need to be one stop shopping so to speak in one place and super easy to do.

September
August 08, 2023

Thank You. This is a wonderful sight, and most helpful.

Stef
August 09, 2023

I don't know how anyone is supposed to get a legit job online anymore, and thats the only way most companies advertise and hire. Many are pyramid scheme scams disguised as "insurance sales" or somesuch. My husband almost got caught by one so Thank You for continuing to spread awareness about these things. They are rampant even on legit sites like LinkedIn, Monster.com, Indeed, everywhere. I wish the sites could keep them out but they don't so who can you trust?

Peter Irwin
August 10, 2023

I have had problems with LinkedIn, I tried unsubscribe from their website only find out wanting you to use a password connected a search engine or company profile by scam associated through job profile link to Indeed job search engines.

Veteran Job Searcher
August 09, 2023

This article is chalk full of great advice. The one problem with articles like these is that they shy away from the problems associated with those who are looking for a job because of a difficult situation. The ones who feel they have to take anything they get! This can lead to bad judgement and impaired risk assessment in the job search process. To avoid these kind of scams, the best way to do research is to use community resources like state labor and employment offices, secretary of state databases, chamber of commerce, and others to do some cursory filtering and assurance of the employer and their credibility.

Vina
August 18, 2023

Please look into biolife aka takeda

Kidd Wong
August 09, 2023

I reported a few scams to zip recruiter and they just ignored me. They just want the money and don't bother to protect job seekers. Very shameful.

Cc
August 09, 2023

what should we do if we learn that we have been scammed by a fake recruiter?

Pamela Jean Wood
September 18, 2023

In reply to by Cc

Report the scam attempt immediately to the FBI'S Cyber Crimes Division, the US Attorney General and local Law Enforcement. Also report the scam to the site it was initially posted on like Indeed, Zip Recruiter etc.

Rajesh Patel
August 09, 2023

Thanks for your post with red signals against fake job placement companies.

In fact, there are many others on LinkedIn for business tie-up, one should know him/her with reference of your known network. Else, you will lose your money. I have lost money after such tie-up with Dubai based company.

Richard Baron
August 09, 2023

Why in the world doesn't LinkedIn do a better job of monitoring their website?
I'll have to reconsider my membership and remove any and all of my personal information on the site.

Todd Griffin
August 23, 2023

I been a victim of the job scheme. They sent check supposedly for work or office equipment. Wanted me to deposited into my account and send them the money. I knew when they mention the check, SCAM!

Jeremie Cooper
September 07, 2023

I got scammed last week by a group of people claiming to be from the company Trip.com. They were good. They did a Zoom job interview, never asked for any personal info, no money. They had official looking uniform tops with the Trip.com logo. They asked all the right questions. I was 100% sure I had the "work from home Customer service job. They sent me a $3500 check by over night Fed ex. Said to deposit it and wait a few days for it to clear and contact them for the vendors I was to use for my equipment. I deposited it and the next day was informed my account was closed for fraud. Being investigated for criminal acts. Told First Citizens investigator I have the messages saved on my phone as well as the contact info but she didnt want them. There should be some sort of insurance for this kind of stuff. The check looked official. Everyone BEWARE

Nicole
September 12, 2023

In reply to by Jeremie Cooper

this just happened today. I was hesitant as i saw the check and reimburse claim so have been researching everything. your post confirms everything. thank you

Jana L Larsen
September 07, 2023

Why can real companies say they are hiring for positions through Indeed and like sites when the positions are in fact not really available? Even sending you a reply that they received your application and are reviewing it presently. I can prove this happened to me.

Tami Therese Freaney
September 15, 2023

I am receiving text messages almost daily from people offering me a job with starting pay at $50.85 an hour. $50 an hour???? Please. I'm not that stupid

Nadiyah
September 18, 2023

I just received this email today at 8:31 AM, I thought it looked suspicious for obvious reasons, but I'm sure it's a scam after reading this article.
Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

Db
September 26, 2023

Have been by a company that Fahd me take stray tojore. They have said I am hired send info on real estate in area. The name of the co is in palatine italy? ABitialia s r l. Keep getting messages to buy porodicts and get mail checks for processing and take out my commission, on and on a perfect scam if you don’t get caufht

CK - Chicago
September 27, 2023

Our company is a recruiting company and the Scammers have been targeting job candidates using fake job postings in our names, and calling and emailng candidates on Linkedin using our recruiters LI profiles and names via Text messages. This is serious stuff and every time we thing we have shut down a fake website they have created, they do it again. Smart job candidates are going to our website inquiry form and letting us know this is happening to them but this will ultimately hurt our business and unsuspecting job candidates. NOTE that they usually advertise high paying, fully remote data entry or customer service jobs so they are praying on the hourly workforce. If anyone knows of a way to stop these crooks, please post a response here.