Job seekers everywhere are being targeted by a sophisticated scam. If you are a job seeker, you are a target. Here's how to keep yourself safe.
The scam starts innocently enough. You receive an email indicating an employer is interested in discussing a job opening with you. The email may come from a job board, social media, or other site where you have identified yourself as a job seeker. It is, of course, normal for employers to contact job seekers this way. So the first email may not raise your suspicions.
Soon, you receive another email telling you that you will be interviewed via a chat or messaging platform. It may be Yahoo Messenger, Google Hangouts, a social media messaging platform, or a similar technology. Here is an example of one such email:
From: Danielle Turner <danielleturner636-AT-gmail-DOT-com>
Date: Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 8:29 AM
Subject: Your Resume
Your resume has been reviewed and forwarded to the Head of Operation and you have been considered and scheduled for an on-line interview to discuss more about the job position that you are to occupy. You are required to set up a yahoo messenger account or download a Yahoo IM (https://messenger.yahoo.com/download/mac/) on your desktop if you don't have one.
After this process you are to add Mrs Melissa Denn on her Yahoo IM, email is (melissadenn1-AT-yahoo.com) to your yahoo buddy list ASAP for the job briefing and comprehensive details. She is on-line waiting to talk to you. Your swift and timely response matters a lot in this beneficial position.
The interview will go well and you will be offered a work from home job. They pay will be great and the hours flexible. It may seem almost too good to be true. That is because it is not true. It is a SCAM.
The next step comes when they want you to buy the necessary equipment to set up your home office. They will send you a check to cover expenses. The check will be large. Probably over $1000. They will demand that as soon as your bank will give you the money from the check, that you withdraw it in cash and then wire the money or deposit it into another account at another bank. They will make up some elaborate story for why this needs to be done.
What you probably don't realize is that your bank will make the funds available to you well before the check has really cleared. The scammers entire plan involves getting you to send the cash somewhere before the check bounces. When it does bounce several days later, you will be left on the losing end. The cash is gone and the bank will hold you responsible for the money. After all, you did withdraw the cash.
How can you keep yourself safe? Follow these tips.
Be wary of any offer to hire you without an in-person interview at the company's office.
Legitimate employers do not charge a fee for interviews, hiring, or any part of the job application process.
Legitimate employers do not ask you to send money for software or other equipment after hiring you.
Legitimate employers do not send you a check to cover initial equipment purchases and ask that you pay cash or send a moneygram to a vendor or account they specify.
Do not provide personal information such as SSN, date of birth, or a checking account number until you have had an in person interview.
Be wary of employers using Yahoo Messenger or similar tools for interviews.
Be wary of employers using GMail or Yahoo Mail rather than an email address from the company.
Scammers often pretend to represent legitimate companies and may pose as real people at those companies.
MilitaryHire screens each employer before allowing them access to our services. We turn away any that seem suspicious. But no screening process is perfect. And sometimes, scammers will find out from social media that you are a veteran and looking for a job. They make the assumption you are using MilitaryHire and will send an email claiming to have found your resume on our site even though they have not really had access to the site.
MilitaryHire is owned and operated by veterans. We take our duty of serving our fellow veterans seriously. We frequently review and improve our screening process to ensure it is as good as it can be. We also work to educate veterans on how to keep safe from scams. While the fact of scammers targeting job seekers is troubling, with the right information, you can keep yourself safe while still using the vast resources of the Internet to find your next job.
UPDATE: If you want an in depth look at how these scams work, read these articles:
If you have any questions, or receive a suspicious email you can reach us at comments-AT-militaryhire.com
Comments  by Sean Pritchard — Posted on Jul 04, 2015 in Veteran Job Search