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HR Scams Are On The Rise — How to Make Sure That Job Offer’s Real

Job sound too good to be true? HR impersonators are scamming potential job candidates through chat, fake job postings on major sites like ZipRecruiter, and scamming hopeful applicants for their personal data. Find out how to spot the signs. 

We’ve all become accustomed to suspicious emails, not-quite-right text messages, and calls from long-lost relatives about your so-called inheritance, but there is a new generation of phishing attempts using spoofed email addresses in a sophisticated masquerade to obtain your personal information and banking details with fake job postings.  

Recently, we’ve had an influx of reports about scammers preying on potential candidates by impersonating Confluent Health recruiters and hiring managers. Be alert.  

How do these scams work? 

HR scams that are increasingly popping up on social media? 

Impersonation scams aren’t new; they’re a tried and tested way for scammers to do what they do best: weasel their way into your pockets and get access to your valuable personal information like banking details and your social security number.  

The novelty of these scams is that the threat has expanded past emails and permeated into social and 1:1 messaging—mediums where scammers can impersonate corporate recruiters with ease. Real HR employees are being impersonated in fictitious job offers sent on LinkedIn or ZipRecruiter, in a scheme to ultimately get targets to share confidential information. 

Scammers are using Confluent Health branding on fake social media profiles to legitimize their conversations with these individuals. A few scammers were also reported to have conducted online interviews and offered jobs on behalf of Confluent Health in order to gain access to victims’ personal information such as Social Security/Social Insurance numbers, bank account info, and addresses. In some cases, they’ve even asked for payment. 

Why is this happening?  

Since the pandemic began, employment scams have been at an all-time high. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reports, employment scam complaints have increased 27% from 2018 to 2020. Work from home online job frauds often operate by tricking victims with the promise of lucrative pay while remotely working, making the scam more effective in our present climate. 

Across all North American industries, 36.5% of businesses have laid off at least one employee since the start of the pandemic. In Canada, that’s led to a consistent increase in job vacancies over the last two years. 

With workers changing jobs at such a high rate, scammers spotted a massive potential pool of victims—and an opportunity to take advantage of hybrid working models and virtual hiring processes. 

With these vulnerabilities in mind, it’s important to be well informed on the latest scam: one that’s targeting job hunters like you. Armed with information on what these recruitment impersonation scams look like, you’ll be better equipped to discern between a real recruiter and a fake one. 

How can I protect myself? 

The age-old rule – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the going rate for your industry is $20/hr, seeing a listing for a $75/hr job might sound pretty nice! Don’t be fooled, do your due diligence and contact the company directly to confirm the opportunity.  

Look out for inconsistencies in language and presentation. You know your skills and experience better than anyone. Does this job listing make sense? Are they using the right terminology? Does this feel pieces together? 

5 key signs to watch out for 

Here are some top considerations to keep in mind and look out for as you navigate the hiring process for your dream job: 

  1. A legitimate recruiter will have a well-established LinkedIn profile, with old and recent account activity, a profile picture, etc. Be skeptical of a recruiter whose profile was created only a couple days ago and who has not been very active on the platform. 
  1. Real deal recruiters will provide you with adequate information on the role they’re reaching out about. To ensure the role is legitimate, ask the recruiter for a link to the posting on the company’s job board—and proceed with caution if there isn’t one.  
  1. Any recruiter will keep the interaction on LinkedIn brief and request to communicate through email. Be wary of a recruiter who uses a personal email address (check for domains like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). Like most established companies, our recruiters will always use their corporate email address. Please note that the email address [email protected] does not belong to Confluent Health and has been used to carry out these impersonations. You can check this by going to the company website, for example, Confluent Health’s website domain is not 
  1. Under no circumstances should you provide a recruiter with personal information (like an SSN or SIN) or any form of payment during the hiring process. If they ask for it, run. 
  1. Small mistakes – Fake URLs that have a minimal error, like a slight misspelling of the actual organization’s URL. The scammers will also take things a step further by replicating the organization’s website to look almost like the original. 

While we take HR scams extremely seriously, we are confident that with the right tools and information in hand, you’ll be able to distinguish a legitimate recruiter from a scammer. If you’re unsure and want to play it safe, we recommend you reach out to [email protected] for reassurance and to flag potential Confluent Health impersonators. 

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