How Your Employees Could Be Scammed Right Now
With all that has been going on concerning COVID-19, many businesses and their employees are experiencing no small amount of anxiety as their position appears to grow more and more vulnerable. Whether your employees are working remotely, or are in-house under strict rules, there’s a chance that they are seeking some additional means of making money. Unfortunately, opportunists are taking advantage of people just like them in this unsure time.
What Your Employees are Dealing With
What would happen to your team if your business were to go under due to the current crisis? One of the most obvious repercussions is the fact that every one of them would suddenly have no stable source of income.
It is effectively guaranteed that your employees have considered this and have likely sought out odd jobs and other means of making a buck. Scammers have also considered this and see it as a clear opportunity to make a buck themselves.
In a study, the Better Business Bureau collected data that shows a clear uptick in the number of scams directed toward businesses and workers currently left out of work by the pandemic’s lasting influence. These phishing scams are specific enough to go by another name: employment scams.
Employment scams, or “job scams,” are yet another way for a cybercriminal to get a hold of your personal data. Lurking on online job sites and gig sharing platforms, these scammers tempt those seeking any opportunity for some semblance of financial stability. Ensnaring their victims with fake job postings, these scammers will then require applicants to pay for training materials or dues for some special certification. Some will just have these applicants cash a bad check as part of the “hiring process.”
What to Watch Out For
To protect your employees from these scams, you need to make sure that they are aware of the threat and can recognize the warning signs:
- Interviews are held via messaging services: It is very unlikely that a company will use a more casual messaging service, like Google Hangouts, for any external communications—even less so a service like Facebook Messenger. If this is how an “opportunity” presents itself, take caution. This is even more the case if any personal information is requested over these platforms.
- The job and its requirements aren’t clear: A vaguely worded ad is one of the hallmarks of a scammer’s trap. Think about it, a legitimate business wants the best candidates to be found, so they’re motivated to be very specific in what they’re looking for. A scammer is only looking for money, so they’re less likely to care who it is they entrap.
- There’s a request for personal information prior to, or during, an interview: The time to disclose this kind of information is when Human Resources is settling your requisite paperwork after the job has been secured. Fake job ads will ask for them much sooner. Don’t comply with these requests.
- You must pay to apply, or the “job” is just a career counseling service: As people have lost their source of income, they have become desperate for any means to regain it. Scammers take advantage of this desperation by extorting applicants for money or swindle it from them by offering supposed career counseling for a fee.
To help protect your team from these attempts, you need to assist them in their efforts to make ends meet in any way you can. If they still need to resort to freelancing on the side, make sure that they’re following a few best practices in their search:
- Check out the company online
- Don’t overshare any personal information
- If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is
At Nexela, we specialize in providing businesses with the technology that keeps their teams productive - even from home. Find out how you can sustain your operations through remote work by calling (215) 525-3223.