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Scammers target job seekers with fake job listings

Scammers are posing as employers to steal identities from job seekers, the FBI said.
Scammers are posing as employers to steal identities from job seekers, the FBI said.(Gray News)
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 12:46 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - The next time you get called for a job interview, it might be a scam.

The FBI said that scammers are posing as employers to steal identities from job seekers.

Some of them are even going so far as to interview applicants.

The scammers ask interviewees for bank account or credit card information, which they can use to steal money, open new accounts or create fake identities.

The scam has increased in frequency with so many people looking for work during the pandemic.

Last year, more than 16,000 people reported being victimized by employment scams, with losses totaling over $59 million.

Officials said job seekers should never provide private information to employers until after they are hired.

The FBI’s tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Conduct a web search of the hiring company using the company name only. Results with multiple websites for the same company may indicate fraud.
  • Legitimate companies will ask for personally identifiable information and bank account information after hiring. It is safer to give this information in person, but if in-person contact is not possible, you can conduct a video call with the potential employer to confirm identity, especially if the company has a directory against which to compare employee photos.
  • Never send money to someone you meet online, provide credit card information to an employer or provide bank account information to employers without verifying their identity.
  • Do not accept any job offers from companies that ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money because a legitimate company will not ask for this.
  • Never share your Social Security number or other personal information that can be used to access your accounts with someone who does not need to know.
  • If you are a victim of an employment scam, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. CNN Newsource contributed to this report. All rights reserved.