Job Scams on the Rise Due to GenAI, Warns Identity Watchdog Group!

  • Editor
  • July 8, 2024
    Updated
Identity-Watchdog_-GenAIs-Popularity-Sparks-Job-Scam-Crisis.

Key Takeaways:

  • Job scams surged by 118% in 2023, largely due to advancements in AI.
  • Scammers use AI to create convincing fake job listings, making it harder for job seekers to identify scams.
  • Victims typically lose around $2,000, with total losses reaching $367 million in 2022.
  • Remote work trends and digital-only interactions have increased job seekers’ vulnerability to these scams.

Employment scams surged last year as criminals leveraged artificial intelligence to steal money and personal information from unsuspecting job seekers.

According to a recent report by the Identity Theft Resource Centre, consumer reports of job scams jumped 118% in 2023 from the prior year.

With this news going online, this is what people worldwide have to say about it!

Thieves generally pose as recruiters and post fake job listings to entice applicants, then steal valuable information during the “interview” process. Often, they put these phony listings on reputable websites like LinkedIn and other job search platforms, making it tough to disentangle truth from fiction.

  • Victim Losses: A chief danger is divulging information about financial accounts or sensitive personal data (like a Social Security number) that criminals can then use to steal a job seeker’s identity.
  • FTC Report: According to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumers reported losing $367 million to job and business opportunity scams in 2022, up 76% year over year.
  • Typical Loss: The typical victim lost a “whopping” $2,000, the FTC said.

Prevalence of Job Scams

Job scams aren’t the most prevalent fraud: They accounted for only 9% of total identity scams in 2023, second to Google Voice scams, which totaled 60%.

Google Voice scams trick people into sharing a Google verification code, which scammers can use for nefarious ends. They often target people on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

However, employment scams are an “emerging” threat, said ITRC president and CEO Eva Velasquez. “Job scams have been around since there were jobs,” Velasquez said. “[But] they’ll continue to grow because of a number of external factors that are occurring.”

AI advancements are one of those factors. Experts say they allow scammers to generate job listings and recruitment messages that look more legitimate.

“AI tools help refine the ‘pitch’ to make it more believable as well as compensate for cultural and grammar differences in language usage,” according to the ITRC report.

The rise of remote work during the pandemic era has made workers and job seekers more comfortable with digital-only transactions, Velasquez said.

Digital-Only Interactions: A Red Flag

Job seekers may never see a physical person during a phony hiring or interview process: They may interact with a supposed recruiter only via text or WhatsApp message, which amounts to a “big red flag.”

She said that recent college grads, immigrants, or other people new to the U.S. may think such digital-only hiring is normal, especially for fully remote jobs. But hiring generally doesn’t work this way, she added.

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The FTC said that con artists will “push you for money” during the hiring process. They may send an invoice for advance payment of on-the-job equipment (like a computer) or job training.

According to the federal agency, they promise to reimburse you but won’t. Scammers may also ask for your personal information — like a driver’s license, Social Security number or bank account details — upfront in order to fill out “employment paperwork,” the FTC said.

“Scammers will promise you a great job, but what they really want is your money and your personal information,” New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez said in a consumer alert this year.

Velasquez said that job seekers should not expect to have to hand over personal information until after they’ve received and accepted a job offer. Ultimately, according to the FTC, “there’s no sure-fire way to detect” job opportunity scams.

Tips for Job Seekers

Here’s what you should know and how you can better protect yourself, according to Velasquez and the FTC:

  • Job Search Platforms: Don’t have a false sense of security on well-known job search platforms.
  • Verify Employers: Independently verify the company exists and is hiring. Don’t accept a job offer until you’ve done your own research.
  • Initiate Contact: Be wary if you didn’t initiate contact with a prospective employer or recruiter. Instead, reach out to the company directly using contact information you know is legit.
  • Personal Information: Only limited personal information is generally required during the application process: name, phone number, job and education history, and perhaps email and home address, Velasquez said.
  • Digital-Only Interactions: Digital-only interactions are a red flag. However, phone calls are also not a guarantee of security.
  • Fake Check Scam: Honest employers won’t send you a check to buy supplies or anything else, but they will ask you to return the leftover money. This is a fake check scam.
  • Too Good to Be True: Be wary of something that sounds too good to be true. For example, a job ad for 100% remote work that requires few skills and a huge salary “is not realistic,” Velasquez said.

Integrating AI into fraudulent activities has drastically increased the sophistication and prevalence of job scams.

Job seekers must exercise due diligence and remain cautious, especially with digital-only interactions, to protect themselves from falling victim to these increasingly sophisticated scams.

For more news and insights, visit AI News on our website.
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Dave Andre

Editor

Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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