Fake recruiters are desperate jobseekers who seduce them with the promise of a high-paying job before stealing their money and identity. We recently set ourselves up as a gullible recruit and made a fool of a cheater so we could learn her tricks.
Fake recruiters are real people
The scam is so clever: Fake recruiters make legitimate people in real companies impersonal. When the person gets in touch with you, it all looks like a real company ̵
But it's a trick. The person with whom you speak is not the person that she claims to be. You talk to a scammer who pretends to be a real employee.
How the Fraud Begins
Fake job brokers do not just contact you from scratch. These scammers turn to people who have posted CVs online to look for a job. The cheater offers a sweet job from home that can be very tempting for someone who has difficulty finding work. The scammer presents himself as a "recruiter" for a real company, so it makes sense that the email does not come from the company's regular email accounts.
We know someone who was approached by one of these cheats about a fake CV to see how they would try to use an eager jobseeker.
The "Recruiter" was pleased with our fake CV and quickly told us to talk to someone in Google Hangouts – in text chat and of course no video chat. With a bit of Internet noise, we discovered that a person's name and profile on the company's website and at LinkedIn match a real person. The person even referred us to the company's website so that we could "familiarize ourselves with the company".
This company – which we have mentioned but are not mentioned here – is also a victim of fraud. This particular company is the perfect sign as we had great difficulty reaching someone in the company to warn them that they were part of this complicated scam. A scam could not quickly tell if the company had not hired Google Hangouts.
A job interview with a real fake person
Our naive young jobseeker (let's call him John) could not believe his luck! The company offered John a variety of positions, from Customer Service and Data Collection Officer to Accounting Executive. Despite his CV with an IT background, he applied for a customer service center. We provided other information than what we used in the CV – the cheater obviously did not bother to read it.
The interview got better and better. The job is a work from home that has paid $ 40 an hour – full time with benefits! The only downside was that the training time was only $ 20 an hour – oh, and the whole thing was a scam.
We were at this point – at the point of the exercise – on board, but the cheater I apologized for cheating:
I (sic) would like to inform you (sic) that we are approaching about our unfortunate approach excuse me if this interviewing method is unprofessional for you or if you are new to all of this, but I believe that the world is progressing, so it is important to keep track as changes are inevitable.
Sounds legitimate for us!
John's several-hour interview began with questions about career history, career goals, what bank did he use and how long had he been at the bank. Complete standard questions that you would expect in a job interview, right? John's answers to these questions were somehow "rated" and he scored 86.23%.
Our intrepid young jobseeker had mixed feelings at the time. On the one hand, he clearly appreciated the job interview and earned no less than 96% – with 4 points that had been rejected for refusing to submit work certificates. On the other hand, he has already received a doctorate! After all, he applied for customer service and now had a position in project management.
The interview came from Nigeria
John was now hired in this completely legitimate business and ready to start the work! To move forward, John would have to sign an employee's offer letter, present a picture of his passport and send the IMEI and the serial number of his smartphone. That put us in a jumble – while we were preparing for the deception, we did not expect a request for a passport or an IMEI number. Although identification makes sense, why does a job need an IMEI number?
According to our absolutely trusted and legitimate interviewer, the company would do this Use the IMEI of the phone to install training apps on John's phone. But the company would also give John a new "Apple laptop" to run programs like Microsoft Office XP 2012, which is not a real program and probably would not run on Macs if that were it.
Fortunately, John's new program The workplace was very understanding and ready to wait for John to retrieve his passport from his parents. In the meantime, John sent them the offer letter – with a minor addition. We sent the message via a link tracking the IP address of the person who opened it and crossed their fingers in the hope that the cheater would not notice. And luckily they did not do that!
Much to the shock that no one had ever shown an IP address from the US, our recruiter from Nigeria seemed to be speaking to us.
This might just be the first jump of a VPN to disguise the fraudster's real address, but it's clear that the US is not a legitimate business they claimed was ,
Please send us a $ 1449 smartphone
Nevermind the scam's & # 39; s IP address though, because John had a new problem! The training could not start because his phone was not compatible with the training apps. They are "not installed remotely". And there is only one phone that can do this. An "iPhone Max with the largest hard drive and the latest iOS device." Nothing less will do it. When John felt that his newly found job was in jeopardy, John immediately felt relief when the recruiter made a suggestion. John could forward the username, password, and security questions to his mobile operator's online portal. John's great new company would log in for him, order this expensive new smartphone and pay with company money. Is not that nice? Exactly what you expect from a legitimate company!
But John was one step ahead; His brother just had an iPhone XS Max with 512 GB hard drive. He did not want it, for reasons. The advertiser said this was perfect. John needed only the $ 1,449 smartphone to let the technicians install these training apps. As we all know, iPhone apps are an incredible challenge to work with, and of course John was ready to send the phone.
The recruiter has helpfully sent a FedEx label, and at this point John is by the spell of Google, got his first look at the headquarters of his new job.
Well, that does not look like a big corporate headquarters. Maybe the offices are underground? Some who dug into the address showed that a trustee currently owns this house, so it's likely that's the perfect target for this scam. The cheater can pay attention to the arrival of the package and exploit it, without fear that a homeowner intercepts it. They even asked John for a picture of the box so they would know what to look for.
Of course we never sent the package. A few days later, the cheater still asks about it. John insists he sent the package, but his new employer does not believe him. The cheater said John never sent it and he knows it – but that's okay, he forgives John. He knows that John will soon "do the right thing" and sends him an expensive smartphone so that he can start his well-paid work from home.
Identity theft, fake check fraud and more
In this particular scenario, the scammers were following phones. They wanted to break into their mobile operator account, order expensive smartphones to another address under their name, and cover their phones. Of course you pay for the phones.
That's bad enough, but that could have gone a different way. By offering a job, the scammers have a logical reason to request your name, address, phone number, signature, social security number, and a picture of your passport.
With all this information, you could easily steal your identity. Do not forget to break into your existing accounts – with this information you could open new credit card accounts and do other unpleasant things. Heck, Facebook is now banning foreigners from serving political ads in the United States, so a scammer could use your personal information to position themselves as US citizens and buy whatever ads they want.
The cheater could use this entire application process Start with a more traditional check-forwarding scam that also gives you bad checks. You deposit the checks at your bank before you initiate a transfer and forward the money – but these checks are canceled and you have no more money.
Watch Out For These Red Flags
If you're reading how-to-geek, you may already know these things. However, it is possible that you have friends and family members who do not talk to them that way. Let her know the red flags. A few simple rules are common:
Businesses are not hiring through Google Hangouts or text messaging. If someone contacts you about a Hangouts job, do not rely on their contact methods to continue. Find a way to get directly to the company, through a phone number on their website or even better in person, and confirm the interview.
US HR recruits most likely speak excellent English. During my contact with this scammer, I noticed that they competently spoke English. However, their spelling was often wrong, often omitting important words or using misused phrases and phrases. Her language skills did not match the profile of the person I found on LinkedIn. It is quite possible that an HR company hires someone who has learned English as a second language. Therefore, this is not a strict rule. But it should ring a warning bell for you.
No company should ask for your credentials for a site that has no control, whether it's a bank, a wireless service provider, or anything else, especially a website that supports your money or credit cards.
Legitimate companies are not asking you to pay to start a job. Your employer pays you You do not pay your employer. Never pay a new employer for the privilege of depositing a company check on your personal account and transferring money. It is a trap.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true. A home-based job in customer service that pays $ 40 an hour is far too good to be true. Find out about similar positions in similar companies. Does the position make sense? Is the pay reasonable? Ask this kind of questions.
Are you interested in further fraud investigations? So we played together with one of these "Tech Support" markers.
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We've reported this scam to the FTC. If you ever encounter such a scam, you should do the same. Visit the FTC's Complaint Assist website, where you'll be notified by reporting fraudulent job offers and other frauds. If you are not in the US, your government is likely to have a similar agency to report such scams.
Since the scammer contacted us through Google Hangouts, we also reported this scam to Google. Unfortunately, the cheater still appeared online in Google Hangouts a few days later. We are disappointed that Google does not respond promptly to fraud reports on its platform.