Make Sure That Job Offer is Not a Scam
Nidhi Razdan, a famous news anchor in India, received an online “offer” for what she thought was a dream job to join the faculty of Harvard University. Eager to cooperate, she provided personal data including medical records, banking information, and passport details.
She then quit her television job in New Delhi and prepared to start a new life in America, according to an in-depth account in the New York Times.
Only then did she find out the job offer was a hoax, and her life was in disarray. “I just couldn’t believe it,” she recently told the newspaper.
While many questions remain unanswered about this fraud, including who was behind it, it underscores a new trend in scams: Online technology has made it easier for crooks to make fake-job offers and conduct interviews as a ruse to capture valuable personal data while remaining anonymous.
“Scammers advertise jobs the same way legitimate employers do—online (in ads, on job sites, college employment sites, and social media), in newspapers, and sometimes on TV and radio,” the FBI reports. “They promise you a job, but what they want is your money and your personal information.
More than 16,000 people fell victim to such scams in 2020, losing more than $59 million.
Signs of a fake job scam may include communications from a supposed employer that originate from non-company email addresses and phone numbers, as well as requests for a job applicant to provide money or financial information. In one scheme, students at Boston College recently received fraudulent emails offering $350 a week for jobs as part-time administrative assistants. In response, the school cautioned students to “Never give out personal information like your Social Security or bank account number over e-mail or phone.”
The FBI points out that legitimate companies would not request personal financial information before hiring someone or ask you to transfer money to them from your bank account.