Commentary

Fake Recruiters Target College Grads On Social Media

Just as the decade-long job drought for young adults shows signs of ending, they find themselves facing another menace: fraudsters who take advantage of their enthusiasm and inexperience by impersonating corporate recruiters for big brands son social media.

According to online security firm ZeroFox, this new variety of scam is an outgrowth of the existing brand impersonation scams on social media, which attempt to bilk unsuspecting consumers by getting them to hand over sensitive personal information or engage in fraudulent transactions.

In this iteration, the fraudulent accounts ask jobseekers to provide their credit card numbers for spurious job placement fees, or divulge personal information as part of bogus job applications.

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No surprise, LinkedIn is a favorite platform for recruitment scams, although Twitter and Google+ users are also easy marks. As with other scams, the fraudsters may seek to move interactions with their victims from social media to more personal channels, especially email.

Social media recruitment scams have become so common, ZeroFox notes, that many companies are warning potential candidates and posting lists of red flags for fraud, such as incorrect email domains and requests for payment.

Chevron, for example, emphasizes that it “never seeks fees from job applicants under any circumstances” (with revenues of $110 billion in 2016, let’s hope not) and cautions that all legitimate emails will come from a dedicated email address ending in @ChevronCareers.com, not @chevron.com or any other variant.

Fair or not, like other types of social media fraud, recruitment scams have the potential to hurt the reputation of the real company being impersonated, requiring constant vigilance and aggressive action to get bogus accounts taken down as quickly as possible.

For their part, those impecunious college grads have an excellent defense: it’s impossible to steal money from someone who’s already broke. Take that, scammers!
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