Incidences of scams and phishing attacks are constantly on the rise, and nowadays they have become more advanced - and more nefarious - than ever, preying upon students and job seekers. It is especially crucial to be aware of the dangers that lie behind phishing emails, fake job boards, bogus social media ads, or false job recruiting websites.
Phishing emails contain messages that mislead individuals into sharing sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, and bank account information.
Fake job postings can and will appear professional. Fake job boards mislead individuals by prompting them to apply or register for jobs that don't exist. This type of scamming will ask for Social Security numbers and personal bank account information immediately in order to trick the user into believing they are being hired instantly. This concept convinces the individual to act as soon as possible without thinking their actions through.
Bogus social media ads can appear differently depending on which social network is being used. Fake Facebook profiles often boast multiple "likes" and "shares" that make it seem to be reliable. These profiles usually spam Facebook comment threads with offers of work-from-home employment or scam products. Meanwhile, fake Twitter posts contain shortened links that have the potential to lead the user anywhere, particularly to untrustworthy sites. No form of social media is immune to these scams.
False job recruiting websites are designed to scam users into "registering" for the "jobs" that appear on the site. Unlike fake job postings that can appear on legitimate sites like Indeed or CraigsList, false job recruiting websites are entirely fraudulent.
A good rule of thumb is that if you receive a job offer that seems too good to be true - for example, if it is offering a pay rate that seems extremely high for the type of work you'll be doing - chances are that it is. Furthermore, no legitimate employer will ever request that an applicant pay up-front costs in regard to their employment, especially not in the form of money grams/money orders. If you respond to a posting that requires any of these things, immediately cease all contact with the job poster.