Scammers lure you in with fake jobs: How to recognize job scamming

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Fraudsters are increasingly luring people in with job offers that promise big money. AK gives tips on how to spot fake jobs.

On job platforms such as LinkedIn or Xing, there are always job offers that entice you with a home office and a high income. Such job offers are also sent by email, and many influencers advertise jobs on social media that allow you to earn a lot of money without a lot of work. What all job offers have in common is that they bring losses and trouble. They won’t make you super rich. To prevent job seekers from falling for such fake jobs, the AK Consumer Protection Organization gives tips on how to expose such scams with misleading job offers.

Criminal consequences of money laundering
As the AK Upper Austria informs in a press release, many fake jobs involve money laundering, for example, by accepting transactions and forwarding them to a Bitcoin exchanger. Ms. G. almost fell for such a scam. She would have had to set up and use an account for the transaction. She contacted the consumer protection experts at AK Oberösterreich. Her contribution to money laundering would have even made her liable to prosecution.

Do not make any advance payments
Another consumer contacted AK Oberösterreich because she wanted to accept a lucrative offer to work from home. The consumer protectors advised the woman against the job, as she would have had to pay 410 euros for insurance in advance and then 100 euros a month for materials. The consumer protection organization warns against supposed jobs that require payment in advance.

Identity theft
Other fraudulent practices include job offers that purport to come from reputable companies. However, they know nothing about it. In what is known as “recruitment fraud”, personal information such as work history and income, bank details, copies of ID and social security numbers are requested during the supposed application phase. Under the pretext that it is a home office job, applicants are asked to hold ID cards up to the camera. The collected data and documents can be used to commit crimes under the name of the person concerned, warn the AK consumer protectors.

Snowball and pyramid schemes in a new guise
Pseudo-coaches go on the internet to recruit employees and offer the prospect of high “passive” incomes. The prerequisite for this is coaching, for example, to become a business manager. These cost several thousand euros. As many consumers cannot afford such costs, professional “closers” try to convince them in video calls to start with a smaller amount and pay off the rest in instalments. To get things started right away, the video call also recommends “voluntarily” excluding the statutory right of withdrawal.

How to recognize fake job ads
According to the consumer advocates of the AK, there is no infallible method for reliably recognizing fake job offers. However, if you come across job offers on the internet that don’t ask for professional experience, have no or fake company details, ask for money or have a vague job description, you should keep your hands off them. Other warning signs include unrealistic pay, requests for personal data and requests to recruit other employees. According to the AK, caution is also advised with job offers via email or WhatsApp.

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