Importance of protecting personal data from employment scammers
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Better Business Bureau reports there have been more than 15,000 employment-related scams in the U.S. since the pandemic began.
Scammers targeting people who have lost jobs
Employment scams are not new by a long shot, as they are one of the most common types of fraud. However, what is new is the number of people (48 million at its height) who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. This means scammers have increased their efforts to trick people because many of them are distressed over their financial situations and are eager to earn money.
What are employment scammers after?
Employment scammers often look to steal money from their victims, but they also seek out ways they can steal their identities too. Having personal information about someone can be extremely valuable to scammers who know how to use it to sign up for credit cards, take out loans, and gain in other ways financially.
In addition to standard information often asked on a job application, some scammers will be bold and ask for things like a copy of a driver’s license, name of their cell phone service, and which bank they use. Some even go as far as requesting account information.
Warning signs of job scams
Unfortunately, many scammers advertise in the same places legitimate employers do including online, newspapers, TV, and radio. Fortunately, there are several warning signs that suggest a job opportunity is really a scam.
- Interviews asked to be done via text or WhatsApp. Legitimate employers typically want to hold phone calls or video chats to talk with job applicants.
- The employer asks for money from the applicant to get the job. Employers never ask people to cash checks or forward them money to get training materials or to “refund” an overpayment.
- “Immediate hires.” Many employers are eager to hire, even during the coronavirus pandemic, but rarely do they hire with this level of urgency because it takes time to properly hire someone.
- The job sounds too good to be true. Scammers often like to push amazing-sounding offers to try to lure people to “apply.” The old adage about something being “too good to be true” definitely applies to employment scams.
Forbes recently published an article about different warning signs people can look for when job seeking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, identity theft continues to be a huge problem for consumers. Every year, more than 14 million people become victims of ID theft. During the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are trying to take advantage of people’s bad luck to steal from them. Unfortunately, victims also often find their credit becomes ruined by these fraudsters as well.
PRBC is fully committed to helping people improve their credit standing. Our alternative credit score model enables consumers to boost their credit scores and gain better access to credit with more attractive terms. If you’d like to learn more about our alternative credit solution, contact us today to learn how PRBC can help.