Just as job hunters use LinkedIn to connect with former colleagues and potential employers, scammers use the networking service to find targets. If you have a LinkedIn account, watch out for suspicious "recruiters" and job offers.
How the Scam Works:
You get a LinkedIn message asking you to apply for a job. It comes from someone who appears to be a recruiter. You check out their LinkedIn profile, and it looks real. You may even have several connections in common!
From here, the scam works in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, the message contains a link that appears to point to an online job application. You are supposed to upload your resume and provide personal information, anything from your address to Social Security/Social Insurance number. Other times, you respond to the message and are "hired" for the job. Then, you are asked to pay upfront for training and/or others expenses.
No matter the details of the scam, the job never materializes. The scammer takes the money or information and disappears. Victims who share person details are at risk for identity theft.
How to Spot a LinkedIn Scam:
Here are some tips for dealing with job scams on LinkedIn.
- Set your LinkedIn privacy settings. You can limit which LinkedIn users can send you messages or connection requests. Go here to make adjustments.
- Don't accept every request you get. Check out the user's profile for completeness and correct grammar. Just because you have several connections in common, does not mean they are real. Scammers frequently create a large network to look more legitimate.
- Ask to talk on the phone. If a recruiter contacts you through email, ask to speak by phone. Scammers will try to dodge this with excuses, such as being out the country.
- Check out BBB Tips: Many job scams use similar techniques, see bbb.org/employmentscam for more advice.
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