Better Business Bureau Warns Job Seekers About LinkedIn Scams

Con artists are posing as recruiters on LinkedIn, exploiting the social media site that is used to network, and in a growing number of cases, find employment.

Con Artists are Posing as Recruiters on Popular Networking Site

Connecticut Better Business Bureau is alerting job-seekers to a new twist in employment scams that are designed to collect personal information for identity theft.  Con artists are posing as recruiters on LinkedIn, exploiting the social media site that is used to network, and in a growing number of cases, find employment. 

LinkedIn appeals to job seekers because it allows them to post their experience and résumés and then be contacted by potential employers or recruiters. 

Scammers create fake profiles and send messages that include a link to a site that seeks personal information.  The websites may look legitimate, but often ask for financial and personal identifying information, such as Social Security numbers or birthdates.   Scammers then use that information to steal victims’ identities, access bank accounts or install malware on their computers. 

This is the latest wrinkle in a variety of scams that prey upon job-seekers.  These include potential “employers” posting fake jobs, asking for money upfront for training and background checks, and personal information and bank account numbers, supposedly to set-up automatic salary deposits. 

Job-seekers should research any recruiter before divulging sensitive information.  Most employers will not ask for a Social Security number or birth date until they make a formal job offer. 

BBB offers these tips to avoid becoming a victim of a LinkedIn scam: 

Be careful who you connect with on LinkedIn - Before accepting a connection request, check out their profile and connections.  If you have doubts about their legitimacy, do not add them.  

Never pay for a job - If a “recruiter” mentions an opportunity where you must pay for training, block them.   A legitimate employer will never ask you to pay to work.

Be wary of work-at-home jobs - Real work-at-home jobs require special skills, so be cautious when you find postings that offer big money with no required experience. 

Search for the recruiter’s picture - Scammers often use a fake, generic photo and you can likely find the photo elsewhere. 

Ask to call them - If a recruiter contacts you via message, request to speak on the phone.  If they avoid talking by telephone, consider that a red flag. 

If you find yourself a victim of the scam, act fast - If an employment con artist was able to access your computer, they may have collected your personal information, including passwords and banking information. Change your passwords immediately.  If you see any strange banking activity, notify your bank.

 -Submitted by Howard Schwartz, Executive Communications Director, Connecticut Better Business Bureau 

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