Job Seekers Beware: Work at Home Scams
With the unemployment rate now up to 9.8 %, discouraged job seekers are more vulnerable than ever to a wide variety of scams and abuses. Here’s an example of a work-at-home scam that security software company PC Tools discovered.
Looks Good, But Is It Just a Phishing Scheme to Steal Personal Information?
This site lures people starting with a link in online search results relating to job search or online work topics. It appears to be from a news website. It then attempts to fool unsuspecting users into thinking they are being shown products endorsed by credible news websites, with the familiar logos on the page, offering fake news reports (see screenshots above). It then attempts to lures them to divulge personal and financial information, including credit card numbers, in exchange for employment opportunities.
How It Works
After showing the news media logos and fake “breaking news” stories on the topic of working from home to earn money immediately, these sites try to entice job seekers into signing up, claiming there are very few positions left and that they should act fast. If users try to leave the order page, the site offers them a chat with an “agent” to “secure your position.”
The agent tries to appear as a real person, but is actually an automated bot. The bot tries to push the user into signing up, repeating that there are very limited places available, and giving links to the sign up page.
When users sign up, they are asked for their credit card details. This could result in massive fraudulent charges and even identity theft.
PC Tools advises against entering any credit card information on these forms. Victims of this attack are strongly advised to immediately contact their credit card companies to dispute any anomalous transactions and ensure that there will be no future unauthorized charges.
Some Tips For staying Safe While Job Searching Online
- Never enter credit card information when applying for a job online. Prospective job openings should never require credit card information.
- If you suspect a news story may be fake, investigate the news organization separately before clicking on the link. See if the story is actually on the site by using its own search engine.
- Schedule regular anti-virus & anti-spyware scans (quick scan daily, full scan weekly). Computer viruses and spyware can take over your computer’s memory and slow performance