4 Ways to Protect Yourself From Recruiter Scams, Plus Top Signs that ‘Job Opportunity’ is Fake

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning of a rampant “Recruiter Scam” that’s spread via the social networking site LinkedIn. It generally starts with a message asking you to apply for a job.

It comes from someone who appears to be a recruiter. You check out their LinkedIn profile, and it looks real. You may even have several connections in common!” according to this Better Business Bureau story.

The supposed recruiter might send you a link that takes you to an online job application. Beware this “application” could just be a sneaky way scammers are using to gather your personal information as often times the application asks for your address, your Social Security number and more. Sharing such information leaves you wide open for identity theft.

Alternatively, when you respond to the message, the person might tell you you’re hired.

“Then, you are asked to pay upfront for training and/or others expenses,” the BBB story goes on to say.

The scams aren’t just perpetrated on LinkedIn, though that has been a popular avenue for the scammers since often times people use the social networking site frequently when hunting for a job. Craigslist is another spot recruitment scams often originate.

Beware if the job listing is super generic and doesn’t contain a location, company name etc. and any email address listed that originates from Yahoo, Google or the like, which anyone can create.

Likewise, if the listing mentions “limited openings” or on-the-spot hiring, it’s likely not something you want to associate with.

If they ask you to pay anything to get a job, it’s a guaranteed scam.

Poor grammar, a request for an instant message interview or something that’s just too good to be true are more signs something is amiss.

If they ask you to send banking account info for either a credit check or to set up direct deposit, do not share any info!

If they want to send you a check before you even start working, it’s most definitely a check scam. Read this Consumer Affairs story out of Hawaii for a first-hand account of how the scam might work.

Four surefire ways to avoid a recruitment scam:

  • Be careful which LinkedIn requests you accept. Don’t assume because you have some connections in common that this is a legit person. Read over the user’s profile and be wary of anyone whose profile is incomplete or littered with misspellings or grammatical errors.
  • Set your privacy settings: Just as we recommend taking advantage of the privacy settings on Facebook, definitely set your LinkedIn privacy settings. You can limit who can send you messages or connection requests.
  • Ask to hop on a phone call. No, don’t agree to instant message as an alternative. If a recruiter is legit and really interested in your skills, they should be more than happy to talk to you on the phone about the position.
  • If your gut instinct is something is amiss, don’t discount it. Dig deeper and don’t ever share your personal information, especially your banking info or Social Security number.

The BBB shares other tips regarding employment scams here: bbb.org/employmentscam.


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