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Public Service Announcement: Protect your company against recruitment fraud

Imagine arriving at the office next Monday morning to find a fresh-faced young engineer eager to start her first day on the new job. A young engineer who believes she has interviewed with your company has accepted an amazing job offer, has quit her old job, and who has provided all the personal data and banking information requested in her onboarding package.

An engineer you never met.

Recruitment fraud is on the rise.

Recruitment scams aren’t as easy to spot as, say, the Nigerian prince who wants your help releasing $1M from his country and into your bank account. The perpetrators often claim to be from real companies, like yours and use actual details, names, and job openings to lure candidates in.

Job seekers are offered fake job interviews by phone and subsequently receive fake job offers. They’re then asked for their personal information, including bank accounts and Social Security numbers – all part of “onboarding” the new employee before they can begin working!

The ramifications of this type of scam are staggering. Job seekers lose their identities, have their financial accounts compromised, and quit their jobs. Companies can have massive reputational and brand damage and significantly higher challenges getting candidate applications for real job postings.

How can you protect your business from fake job scams? Here are a few tips:

  • Communicate clearly. Use your career pages and other social media sites to clearly outline your hiring process to potential job applicants. Tell candidates what they should and should not expect through the process and the type of treatment they should expect from every legitimate contact with your company. Include a statement on your website that addresses recruitment fraud. Here’s a great example from Boeing: https://jobs.boeing.com/fraud-alert
  • Use Social Media Wisely. LinkedIn is a great site to increase brand awareness and attract interested and qualified candidates, but send candidates to a dedicated page on your website to apply. Job seekers who apply outside official channels are at higher risk of applying for fake jobs. 
  • Be transparent. Review your recruitment process to ensure best recruiting practices are consistently used across your teams and recruiters. For example, all communication should come from business rather than personal email addresses to provide assurance of legitimacy.
  • Partner with a trusted headhunter. An established and experienced recruiting partner will work with you to attract qualified applicants who are introduced to your company in a positive and professional manner, increasing your brand awareness and reputation in the community.

Additional Resources:

  • Incident reports can be filed at: http://www.cybercrime.gov
  • Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or search consumer information addressing job scams on their website
  • File a complaint with the FBI at: https://ic3.gov
  • Better Business Bureau (under “scam type” drop-down menu, select “employment)