Featured Article

The rise of employment scams in the digital age

How fraudsters are fleecing job seekers in new ways

In May 2022, Amal Mukhlis of Ontario, Canada, came across a job posting on Facebook for a remote position at a company named TTEC COMPANY, also called TTEC WORK@HOME COMPANY. Using Facebook Messenger, Mukhlis contacted the recruiter, who directed her to download Google Chat for further communication. The recruiter identified herself as the hiring manager and asked Mukhlis to provide her name, location, the position of interest and a photo — “a clear selfie.”

The recruiter later asked Mukhlis to answer a series of interview questions “ASAP,” which solicited a string of personal information, such as the name of her bank, phone carrier, her payment preference and whether she had a PayPal and/or a credit card account. (See Figure 1 below for samples of the Google Chat conversation between Mukhlis and the supposed hiring manager.)

Within less than 30 minutes of answering these questions, the recruiter had offered Mukhlis a position at the company and asked for her full name, address, phone numbers and email address. Skeptical about the speed of the hiring process and the nature of the questions, Mukhlis reached out to me knowing that I’m a fraud investigator. I advised her to stop sending any information and to conduct an online search of the company. Mukhlis soon came across several online reviews indicating that the company is a scam.

Fortunately, Mukhlis avoided any monetary losses after quickly contacting her bank, phone service and other third-party providers. But not everyone is so lucky. Mukhlis’ experience is becoming increasingly common among job seekers who now rely heavily on social media and online employment platforms. Fraudsters are posting fake job ads through trusted sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Indeed.com to lure victims. And in a practice called spoofing, they’re creating fake email and website domains that make it seem as if ads and recruiting contacts come from legitimate companies — at least to the untrained eye. The scammers then trick victims into sending money and/or their personally identifiable information (PII).

For full access to story, members may sign in here.

Not a member? Click here to Join Now. Or Click here to sign up for a FREE TRIAL.