As You Target A New Job, Hackers Are Targeting You

You open your email this morning and see in the subject line of a new message, “We have reviewed your resume and would like to schedule an interview.” FINALLY!

You open the message and see: “Please follow this link to fill out our online application.” It is the same process you have done for a few other jobs you applied for recently.

By the time you have registered a new username and password and finished filling out all the information including your name, address, work history, and social security number, you realize it was a bit odd to see a few grammatical and spelling errors.

By then, it’s too late.

Job scams, illegal data mining, identity theft, and other online dangers are becoming the norm. It is up to you to know how to spot them, how to avoid them, and how to be successful in your hunt for a new job.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you avoid adding a ton of stress to the already stressful process of looking for a new job:

  1. If you don’t have an extremely unique professional skill set, odds are, an overseas organization isn’t going to be targeting you. If you get an email about a work-from-home assistant role for a company in Europe that you can’t easily find in a Google search, there is a reason.
  2. If you receive an email about a job from someone with no last name, no phone number, and no professional signature, it’s probably fake. Also consider: even if it was real, is that really somewhere you’d want to work anyway?
  3. Any job opportunity that asks for your financial information, or worse, asks you to pay to get the job, isn’t real. Just don’t do it.

If there is even the slightest suspicion of foul play, don’t click on a link. Carefully examine the URL you’ve been sent. It may look legit, but if one character is wrong, you’re probably applying for a fake job. You may think you are applying for a position with “AMAZINGJOBS,” but you actually may be giving all your personal information to “AMAZ|NGJOBS.” If it doesn’t look right, do some research: the odds are you are not the first person to be targeted.

While there are many other types of scams, there are also many types of great legitimate organizations that can help you find a job you may have never found on your own.

If a recruiter sends you an email, give him or her a call. It shows you are invested in taking the next step in your career, and it may save you from potential disaster.