Summer Scams. Beware, Job Applicants

07-19-2016   It’s the silly season; that season when job scammers emerge from the woodwork seeking job seekers who may have been applying for positions everywhere–often without success.   A word to the wise.  If a job seems ‘too good to be true,’  don’t apply.  It is probably, as we say in the South, ‘too good to be true.’

Being interviewed and hired for a job online can be fun and very satisfying.  It can also be a terror from which you could have black marks on your employment record for years.  Beware.  Noodle this letter that a recent job seeker referred to us, expressing clear excitement of a new job seeker who thinks, to put it delicately, she may score a new job.

“Dear (Job Seeker):

Our recruitment team viewed your resume published on (Pick any job site where you have a copy of your resume posted) and we are pleased with your qualifications; we believe that you have the required qualifications to undergo an online interview.  Your resume was shortlisted for an online interview with Personnel Manager (Pick an employee name from any company’s website.  That will be the company being scammed) via GMail Hangout or Google Talk with the following G Mail address:  (let’s say  Please add her to your buddy list and message her.

She will be online waiting for you ASAP to conduct the interview with you.  Your verification code is (pick whatever random set of numbers and letters you wish).  This will serve as your identification number throughout the online hiring process.  Your timely response matters a lot.  We look forward to having you on the team.

Interview Scheduled:  Online

Time:  Pick a time window in the current month

Venue:  Online via Google Hangout

Training:  Is Available

Your swift and timely response matters a lot in this beneficial position.

Best regards,


Human Resources Department

(Scammed Company)”

Many of you would say that you would recognize this immediately as a scam.

Many of you may not have been hired for a position recently, where online connections have become much more of the norm and connections via Google Hangouts, Yahoo Messenger, and Skype are often preferred by a company, so that the majority of candidates seeking a position are interviewed; and are preferred by many job candidates–so that he or she will incur little to no cost for a job interview they most likely would not get.  Why invest time, effort and energy in an interview with a company which may or may not even acknowledge the interview, right?  Fault on both sides and credit to both parties.

Yes, this is an obvious scam, which was confirmed by calling the Fortune 500 company’s HR Department and discovering they didn’t hire the candidate and had no record of her in their network.  Further, the service posting the response could only tell the job candidate that they would cancel the posting and refer it to their security team.  Our referee was lucky.  She didn’t give them any banking information so that they could “wire transfer” her payments into her account.

Some guidelines:

  1. Always confirm online job postings.  Where did the potential employer see your resume?  What is it that they are seeking?   1st thought:  Did you post a resume where they say that they found it?  Ask questions of the company representative.  Do you often find your applicants on (XYZ Jobsite)?
  2. Get a telephone number to call the interviewer back.  Don’t call back at the number they give you, but at the direct number for the company and ask for the person by name.  If the person that answers doesn’t know you, or there isn’t anyone there by that name, bells should ring on the scam alert.  When and if connected, if it’s a legitimate job posting, interview and potential offer, there’s always a question you can ask, as a part of your “due diligence” on the position offered, right?  You bet.
  3. Never.  Never give banking information online without an absolute knowledge who the person  or company is–and to whom your information is being offered.
  4. Always, no matter how important getting this job is to you, have a certain amount of wariness about a job offered online.  Ask if it’s possible to be connected with someone doing a similar job so that you may do “due diligence” about the job–yes, that is absolutely acceptable.  Getting a job that is a “pig in a poke” may not turn out to be pork…it could be a skunk.
  5. Finally, if you are offered a job and do start work with a new employer, find out when they pay, how you will be compensated, and have them send you a check for the first few months.  You can always changeover to direct deposit after you have built a level of trust in the job and the people for whom you are working.

Our job histories are critical parts of our personal portfolio.  Guard them as you guard your money.  You wouldn’t open your wallet and invite someone to just take whatever they want, right?  Same with your job history and your personal portfolio.

Being interviewed and hired for a job online can be fun and very satisfying.  It can also be a terror from which you have black marks on your record for years.  Be cautious.  And good luck with the interview.

Comments are closed.