While many legitimate companies use video calling services like Skype and
Google Hangout to hold cost-effective and convenient interviews for job
applicants, a number of scammers use this same technology to hook job
hunters in scams.
Due to the potential danger to people targeted by this scam, the Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has issued an alert about the risk
of these “job interviews” that could allow scammers to phish
for personal information and finances.
Signs of a Scam
Some warning sings to look out for include:
Lack of preparation time or on-the-spot interviews before the online call. Take care if your potential interviewer requests an immediate interview
without previously reaching out to you. Most legitimate interviews include
information about the interviewer or interviewers and a set interview
time to ensure a smooth process.
Requests for additional information like bank account numbers, credit card
details and your Social Security number (SSN). These types of requests during job interviews are considered red flags
by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While some employers are allowed
to ask for SSNs on job applications in certain states, banking information
is typically only necessary after you are hired in order to set up direct
deposit for your paychecks.
Requesting payment. Asking a potential employee to pay for the promise of employment is advised
against by the FTC.
Requests to download files or documents. Always be wary when anyone you don’t know well asks you to download
anything. These files may contain malware and other types of harmful software
that can provide sensitive information to people looking to exploit you.
How to Protect Yourself from Potential Scams
There are a few actions you can take to protect yourself from scammers:
- Don’t accept interview offers for jobs you did not apply for.
- Reach out to the human resources department of the company offering to
hold an online interview to make sure that it follows company policy.
- Verify that the person who will interview you is in fact employed by the
company and not someone posing as an employee.
- Research the company and recruiter or staff member online before your interview.
- End the call If you are asked to provide financial or personal information
like bank account numbers or your SSN, or if you are asked to pay an unexpected fee.
- Trust your gut – if at any point during the process you begin to
feel uncomfortable or suspicious ask any questions you need to or simply
end the call.
If you were the victim of a scam, you may be able to pursue legal action
to secure compensation for your losses. At Meyer Wilson, our fraud attorneys
have dedicated their careers to providing our clients with the experienced
and passionate representation they require in their time of need. Give
us a call at one of our offices to speak with a member of our firm today, or
send us your information through our online form to start out with a free