With millions of people looking for work, fake job scams are popping back up. Usually, someone will post an ad for work, along with an application that asks for information such as your Social Security number, driver's license info, and other sensitive information.
"We are seeing more and more individuals fall victim to unemployment scams during this pandemic," said Tara Welch, the Human Resources Director at ATA Engineering.
ATA has been a company targeted by these fake job listings. Several scams have looked like job listings from ATA itself, which puts people at ease. The new hires don't know they were scammed until they reach out to Welch about their new job.
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"They realize when they call us that it's a scam," said Welch. "They are very understandably upset and say they have been asked to download apps, provide financial and other personal information."
The FBI has warned about these types of scams before. Welch says they have seen a lot more scam victims contacting them, sometimes four in a day.
"They'll text individuals, email them from accounts that are not company accounts, and they're asking them for personal information before an offer is even made," said Welch.
If you get a job offer from a company, Welch says you should google them and call the numbers listed on their official website. It's important to do your own research because the FBI says many scams will link to a spoofed version of the company's website to appear legitimate.
"Are you trying to recruit me? Can I speak to your Human Resources department? That's incredibly important to ask," said Welch.
As an HR Director, Welch says would have no problem answering someone's questions about a job listing.
"It's devastating and understandably so," said Welch. "These individuals have been working with the scammers, sometimes for weeks at a time, and they're providing their personal identifiable information."
It's always important to use some common sense as well. A lot of these scams ask for passport photos, bank account information, and claim the job interviews can be at any time.
"Would a prospective employer contact you via text message or via a gmail or yahoo account?" asked Welch.