Jobseekers beware: Phony postings and job scams are on the rise

With the country’s sizzling hot jobs market, many people are finding and securing choice employment positions. But some are seeing an uptick in job scams, according to a recent survey by a cybersecurity research group.

Nearly one-third of the people surveyed told that they were tricked into filling out fake job applications or doing phony interviews online within the last two years.

“Unfortunately, a job scam can look absolutely credible,” said Daniel Farber Huang, a subject expert at “Being able to put out a job posting is free or has very little upfront cost.”

Scammers hope to access valuable personal information or to get victims to pay for phony expenses. They use sneaky methods to lure unsuspecting job seekers, Huang said.

“They might say, ‘We’re going to run a credit check on you and it’s going to cost $75 to do so and you’re going to have to pay that,’” Huang said. “Or they might say, ‘Congratulations! You’ve made it to our next round; we’re going to need more information. What’s your date of birth? What’s your Social Security number?”

The survey also found:

  • 38% of people reported encountering scam job postings online
  • 15% had personal information stolen
  • 9% had money stolen by scammers

There’s a clear way to avoid the scams, Huang said.

“Trust but verify,” he said. “Pick up the phone and call the company and get confirmation that it is a legitimate posting. Don’t just click links that will lead you somewhere.”

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