If you’re unemployed or looking at various remote work opportunities, pay special attention to a remote work scam that is going around. Wordfence outlines the details on what attackers are doing and how victims are losing thousands of dollars after being convinced that they’re getting a job. The company sends them a check, the victim pays for the office furniture out-of-pocket in a non-refundable way as they wait for the check to clear, and the company they sent the money to profits as the check never clears.
This is a dangerous scam, especially in a time where remote work opportunities abound and a lot of people are looking to either make the switch or get a remote position full-time.
Wordfence recommends doing the following to avoid becoming a victim.
- Go to the employer website and confirm that the job you’re applying for is actually an open position on their site.
- Contact the hiring company using the published contact information on their website – either an email address or phone number – and verify that the role exists and that you are in the hiring queue.
- As far as possible, do not apply on job boards. Instead, apply by navigating to the hiring company’s website and proceed from there. You may be directed to external HR sites like Workable.com, but you will be following links from the hiring company’s own website.
- Never spend money out of pocket for a job application or for a new job you have just started. You may need to spend money out of pocket in the future because reimbursement has become standard practice among many companies, but this should be unacceptable for a position you have just started.
- I have not encountered a company that only does interviews via direct message. COVID has changed the way we do business, so it is understandable that victims are assuming that direct-message interviews are part of that change.
Please help out by spreading the word about this scam and how people can avoid it. Also be sure to read the comments as folks have described similar scams.