But if you are searching, consider this: Is the job you’re applying for even real?
Cyber criminals pose as real employers and interview applicants, eventually asking them for their personal information and payments, according to the FBI. Personal information can be used to open new financial accounts or even obtain a fake driver’s license or passport.
“Cyber criminals executing this scam request the same information as legitimate employers, making it difficult to identify a hiring scam until it is too late,” the FBI said in its statement.
In 2020, more than 16,000 people reported being victims of employment scams, totaling over $59 million in losses, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Employment scams are not new, but they are particularly challenging when so many people are vulnerable to job losses.
To protect against employment scams, the FBI recommends researching the company by its name only. If multiple websites with similar names show up, that may indicate the job listing is fake. Also, companies typically ask for bank account information after hiring applicants, not before.
The FBI is also urging people to never provide credit card information to an employer and to only disclose bank account details after verifying the company’s identity.