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How to recognize job interview fraud

In the age of virtually unlimited connectivity from anywhere in the world, remote jobs are becoming increasingly common. You can sit with your laptop on a beach in Thailand, writing corporate communications for an American marketing firm.

As virtual employees are quickly becoming the norm, so too are virtual interviews. Employers are increasingly turning to Skype or other video chat technologies to vet job candidates. However, the growing trend towards online interviews has created an opening for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting job applicants.

In today’s post, we talk about some of the warning signs of a fraudulent job interview.

  • The interview request is last minute.If you receive an urgently worded invitation to a Skype interview, treat the request suspiciously. Did you apply to a job with the company in question? If not, did they indicate how they received your information? Did they give you the names and titles of the people who will be participating in the interview?
  • The language seems off. If the interview request or interview platform page is written in vague or odd-sounding language, or if it has spelling or grammatical mistakes, this could be indicative of a scam. Suspicious claims—such as being guaranteed a job offer—or pressure to commit quickly to a job are both red flags. Additionally, beware of any reference to job openings that are not publicly listed.
  • They ask for sensitive information. Beware of any interviewer who asks for personal information, such as your Social Security Number (SSN) of your credit card number. You should never have to provide your SSN during an interview, and you shouldn’t have to pay for anything as part of the job application or hiring process.

What you can do

If you’re concerned that an interview request may be fraudulent, call the company directly, and verify that they have actually arranged a job interview with you. Also verify that the person who contacted you works for the company. Do not open or download any documents the interviewer sends you on Skype. Such documents may contain malware, which can give the interviewer access to your computer activity—including keystrokes and mouse movements—or could even control your webcam.

Scam artists are becoming more and more sophisticated, so it’s important to learn how to protect yourself. If you’ve been victimized by a job scam, it’s worth consulting with an experienced employment attorney to understand your recourse.

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