Recently, a man was looking for a job when he suddenly received a lead for a position at a PR firm. He received a email from someone who claimed to be a representative of the company saying that they were contacting him in regards to a position listed on a job site, which was for a work-from-home graphic designer. Little did he know, it was a fake job offer.
However, the man started to become suspicious when he was asked to attend an interview conducted via Google Hangouts and through chat only. He started the interview, only to discover that the interviewer didn’t seem to be a fluent English speaker or ask for his portfolio.
Less than an hour later, he was allegedly hired for a job; however, he asked to speak to someone over the phone and never received a call. He then saw an online posting from the same company warning others about a scam, which stated that scammers were fraudulently using information related to the agency in order to solicit applications for jobs that didn’t exist, as well as conducting interviews and making fraudulent offers.
Several agencies who have been contacted by victims of this scam say that the scammers perform interviews with those seeking a job, and it’s all done through the chat feature of Google Hangouts. Once the “interview” is done, an offer letter that appears to be real is sent informing the applicant that they’re being offered a job. Additionally, they’re also told that a check will be sent to them so that they can purchase home office equipment.
In many cases, applicants also end up providing personal information to the scammers, such as Social Security numbers. Once the applicant receives the alleged check, they are instructed to deposit it and purchase equipment from a specific vendor linked to the scammer. The victim will then make the purchase while waiting for the check to clear; however, the check will actually bounce.
Additionally, experts state that the scam involving checks is a type of “overpayment” scam, where a scammer will send a victim money before telling them to spend some of it in a particular manner.
Always double-check the emails of your contact through a job offer, and be careful of offers that seem too good to be true. If you are doing an online interview, make sure you can see the other person’s face and voice, and make sure you are very careful with who gets your social security number at all times.
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