Beware of Employment Scams
September 13, 2023
By: Lisa A. Perrin, President & CEO
As mentioned in my email/ website message last week about “Increased Activity in Phishing Emails and Text” fraud, I wanted to let you know of another common scam these cyber criminals use to gain access to personal financial information of consumers. Employment Scams are what they are referred to as.
Employment Scams - all too common and very lucrative for cyber criminals!
Another very effective scam criminals rely on (and profit from) is to use enticing, and hard-to-detect, lures to target people who've been out of work or who are looking for a change in employment. Some scammers take a slow approach with interviews and a legitimate-seeming operation. Then they collect personal information from your employment forms and/or tell you to buy equipment or training. Remember, if it SOUNDS TO GOOD to be true, IT LIKELY IS!
Other scams get right to the point and promise guaranteed or easy income — if you purchase their program. Sometimes, a fake employer sends a large paycheck and asks you to send the "extra" back — a play on the popular overpayment scam.
You may also see job opportunities that involve receiving money and sending funds to another account or receiving and reshipping packages. These "money mule" and "reshipping mule" jobs are often part of an illegal operation, and you could be personally liable.
How to Avoid this type of Scam (and similar ones)
While scammers' delivery methods and messaging can quickly change, a few basic security measures can help protect you from the latest and most common scams:
- Be skeptical when someone contacts you. Scammers use “spoof calls"
- Spoofing happens when cybercriminals use deception to appear as another person or source of information and emails to make it look like they are coming from different sources, including government agencies, charities, banks and large companies.
- Don't share personal information, usernames, passwords, or one-time codes that others can use to access your accounts or steal your identity.
- Enable multifactor authentication. Add this feature to any accounts that offer it as an option and try to use a non-SMS version to protect yourself from SIM swapping.
- Research companies. Before you make a purchase or donation, take a few minutes to review the company or charity. Do a web search for the company or charity name plus "scam" or "reviews".
- Be careful with your phone. If you suspect a spam call, don't respond, or press a button. The safest option is to hang up or ignore the call entirely. You can always look up the organization and initiate a call yourself if you're unsure of the call.
- Don't refund or forward overpayments. Be careful whenever a company or person asks you to refund or forward part of a payment. Often, the original payment will be fraudulent and taken back later.
- Look for suspicious payment requirements. Scammers often ask for payments via wire transfers, Zelle, money orders, cryptocurrency, or gift cards. These payments can be harder to track and cancel than other forms of payment, which can leave you stuck without recourse and your money.
Remember, your financial success and safety are our #1 PRIORITY here at Worcester Credit Union. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact any one of us at Worcester Credit Union at 508-853-9966 for assistance and guidance. We are happy to assist you and help you prevent these scammers from gaining access to your personal information and savings through your honest efforts to improve yourself or help someone!
Lisa A. Perrin