As the world is wading through the ongoing pandemic, cybercriminals are luring job aspirants to fake jobs, fake hiring websites. It is primarily done to either make quick buck or steal the identity of the person. It is not only in India but throughout the globe, various cybercriminal activities are ongoing. Only, type and mode of such activities are different in different countries. It just harnesses human weakness which is either in form of fear or enhanced interest in something be it a job, lottery, free meal. This article would share a few common spots to identify which could give adequate clues about the genuineness of proposals:
1) Proposal for the job offer you didn’t apply
It is rare to receive a call with a job offer even if you have not applied for it. However, it is becoming common. Now, the recruiter looks through a various professional website like LinkedIn and approach the candidate directly. It does happen. Such call should be seen with the eye of suspicion and clarified to great extent possible to be sure about the authenticity of the proposal.
2. Beware of abnormally high salaries
One of the ways criminals entice people is by advertising unusually generous pay. If the salary being offered in a job ad is way above what you see in other ads for similar positions, be wary. You can get an idea of average weekly earnings by industry using the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages or check out salary calculators on websites such as Glassdoor.
3. Request for security deposit
Recently, numerous fake jobs came to light — Exxon Mobil fake jobs, Fake jobs for L & T Construction. In both cases, cybercriminals asked for security money just to get the money quickly and run away. Generally, such large organizations do not ask for money as a pre-employment requirement. Once such commonality from cybercriminals was exposed, L & T clarified that L&T does not ask for any money from the candidate at any stage of the recruitment process. Also, look for the account number in which payment is requested to be made. If it is a person-specific account number, that sign of cybercriminal is luring to its net.
4. Read the letter carefully
The job offer letter offers numerous clues about its genuineness. Keep an eye on the greetings that are made. Is it person-specific or just general greetings? If it is general greetings like “Dear Job applicant”, please stay away. Such letters should be person-specific. As L & T recommends that their letters will address job applicants with proper salutations including the last name.
5. Check the spelling and domains of company names and logo
When you vet companies, be aware that cybercriminals sometimes steer potential applicants to fake websites they’ve created that mimic the sites of real companies — except that, say, an extra letter has been added to the company’s name. When job applicants can’t spell a company’s name right in a cover letter, recruiters are apt to toss those applications in the trash. Do the same with any companies that can’t spell their own names.
6. Follow your gut and mind
Fraudulent activities do happen; however, they can be minimized once we start believing our intuition and substantiate the same with our logic. Our common sense has to offer great wisdom in such kind of situation. Just ask, why such an offer is made? What is real intent? Answer will offer more clarity
7. Avoid text-only interviews
The pandemic has made it necessary for many employers to conduct job interviews remotely via services like Zoom. But be cautious of hiring managers who insist on communicating only by email or text or using messaging platforms such as Telegram to conduct interviews. Eventually, a real employer will want to see and interact with a recruit, whether through a video call or in person. Cybercriminals typically don’t want you to hear their voices or see their faces since it raises the chances, you’ll realize they’re not who they say they are.
8. If something feels suspicious, investigate — or walk away
If at any point in the job application or interview stage something feels wrong to you, don’t ignore the feeling. Ask yourself if you see any of the warning signs outlined above. Or pause and ask a trusted friend or relative for a reality check.