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Fake employment sites and emails are getting hard to spot, and they are targeting job seekers

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 16, 2021

As if job seekers don't have enough to worry about, now there's a warning from authorities: be wary of fake employment sites.

The sites are so good, they're easy to fall victim to. They even reference popular, mainstream internet job boards in their communications. What they're after, though, is your resume.

“There’s typically a lot of information on a resume and these will lead to additional fraud, like resetting a password on a bank account or getting someone’s W2," said Sherrod DeGrippo.

She's the senior director of threat research and detection at Proofpoint. Her analysis team watches for threats and criminal activity around the clock and around the globe.

"They come across during business hours. We see them start in Asia Pacific, then they hit Europe, then they hit the east coast, and around 5 p.m. west coast time, that’s when things shut down.”

DeGrippo and her team watch the scams and they've seen it all; everything from dogs to movie streaming sites, and now, job boards.

“We see the threat actors, watch what’s happening with current events, everything from COVID-19 to IRS tax time, they see what’s happening, the social fabric, and unfortunately, prey on people who may be leaving their jobs,” DeGrippo said.

It even got the attention of the FBI, who issued a warning this past spring about technology making things a lot easier for scammers.

So, what are you supposed to do?

The standard red flags aren't so standard anymore.

“Historically, people would say the indicators are things like broken English and things that don’t make sense. That’s really not the case anymore, you can’t depend on the fact that something is written in correct English to be the indicator that it’s legitimate. You need to be much more skeptical than you’ve been in the past.”

This means, DeGrippo says, do your homework before you apply.

“Think about what you're clicking on, go directly to the site that’s being advertised, type it into your browser, don’t depend on those links to click on them every time. And if there’s a phone number, give it a call and say, 'hey, is this legitimate.' See what you think, because a lot of times they’ll put a fake phone number and answer those calls and scam people that are calling too.”

DeGrippo also reminds people, real employers won't ask for bank information in the interview process, and never share your social security or credit card, and always watch your money.

“Keep an eye on your bank account, keep an eye on your credit score, keep an eye on your credit report. But for the most part consumers need to really examine the email that comes into their inbox, examine the text messages that come into your text, your phone, all those things, because they’re easy crimes to pull off and lots of these criminal threat actors have figured that out.”

DeGrippo says, this certainly won't be the last scam, so watch for illegitimate emails with almost every current event.