Lately there have been a lot of reports by colleagues for job scams within security industry where scammers posing as recruiters or hiring companies employees offer a job and require from candidates to pay some fees using the justification of a training fee, work visa, travel expenses, running background check fee etc.
Having in mind that there are many people desperate to get a job and supporting their families as well as operating within an industry that in many countries has no standards and it is not regulated by official governmental authorities, some people find an easy way to expand their fraudulent activities and rip off our colleagues.
How they act? Some of them can be monitoring your online networking profiles and can ‘’read’’ your work needs. How many times we have seen colleagues posting on networking platforms they are available for work or ready to deploy? Personally I have seen it a lot, some even add ‘’Looking for a job’’ on their networking account personal information or status. The scammers now have a good ground to work on, they know you are unemployed and they contact you offering a job position, in most cases they offer a very attractive job placement, with good money and benefits.
After they contact you, they start extracting from you your personal information. Have in mind in some cases those people are experts in ‘’interviewing methods’’ and what they hopefully are looking for specific information of you such as your full name, bank account details, PayPal information, Social Security Number, driver’s license and generally any other information they can use to get money from you. While they are getting your trust they inform you qualify for their job placement BUT in order to proceed your application you need to send them some money for either visa application fees, criminal background check fees etc. Some of them will require you to join and pay one of their training courses, seminars or conferences IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED TO GET HIRED BY THEM. The last methods are used a lot by companies that can be legally registered and licensed to operate as training or service providers, so even if you see it is a legitimate company, their approach to ‘’book courses’’ it is not considered ethical, not to mention when it is not offering you any job placement after attending their training courses, seminars or conferences.
The biggest and serious ones companies that requires you to attend their courses no matter your previous training and professional background are offering those courses for free to specific people who have been selected to proceed for further recruitment and they want you to get trained with the specific team members (helps to build the bond), see if you meet their standards in order to decide if you will be finally hired or not or to offer you more skills during the training. Those companies know the importance of well skilled personnel and they are willing to invest on them. They are willing to lose money by running training while they don’t charge participants for it, and we all know who those few companies are out there that attending their classes in order to proceed with your hiring procedure is guaranties.
To the question that may arise, how to validate a recruiter or a company employee, there are some simple steps to take:
-You can make research on the company that they claim they represent. It will take you probably a few minutes to get a first idea by searching online public sources. Check if and in which State the company is registered. Some States have an open online business database such as company registration details and owners. You can also check for the reputation of the specific company on networking places, forums etc, but while doing that make sure to evaluate what people says, security industry has many ‘’crying babies’’ people who for one reason or another, because of competition and by using different fake profiles and names they want to hurt those that they think as competitors. Now is that fair and ethical? NO, but we have seen it happening and it will continue so.
-Does the recruiter’s e-mail address match the name of the company? Is it a personal e-mail address? Companies never use free email provider services like yahoo, Gmail etc. Pay extra attention to his/her e-mail address details, don’t hesitate to call the specific company they claim they work for and ask them if this person works for them. Another thing you can do is copy paste the specific e-mail address in online searching engines such as Google or Yahoo and see what the results will be. Sometimes it can show you where that e-mail address was used, such as for commenting in different networking places or even was given as a contact detail to register in networking places, then evaluate what you find and check if every time has been used same personal details. You can also start asking your colleagues and your network contacts if they know or they have heard anything about the company. And make sure to ask people you have been working with them and you can trust they opinion.
-Check the domain name of the company on behalf of which you have been contacted, an example is: places such as GoDaddy can show registration details for the specific domain name, sometimes it can be an individual (and in this case you may need to make some research over that person, can you find any online information for illegal or fraudulent activities for that individual?) and sometimes it can be a website designing company. Check if you’re searching results matches with the company’s name, owners, is it up and running? Or it leads to an ‘’under construction’’ website?
-If there is a website under a domain that matches with the registrants details, pay attention on the content of it. Does it look that the website has been created by professionals? A poor looking website with some grammar or spelling errors can show you it has been created by a non professional website designer. A company that doesn’t care about its online appearance or can’t afford to build a professional for that is unlikely being capable of hiring you.
-Pay attention over the company’s name and the job position they are offering you, there are only few major companies that hold the ‘’good positions overseas’’. If they are claiming the company operates in a foreign country, call the embassy in that country and ask them. The consulate office registers every company of its country operating overseas (especially when it comes to security and protection services).
-Make a file with a list of companies you have applied before, try to get listed which company you applied to- for what job placement and when, so if you get a contact by a company you haven’t applied, that should arise your attention, maybe they are frauds and they probably got your e-mail information from different forums or networking places.
-Are they using fancy words an offering you the job of your dreams? Compare what they are offering with the current market. If they are asking bank accounts information, stay away!
-The company may exist, have a domain registered, a website up and running, you are e-mailing back and forth with their representative or recruiter for probably some weeks, and after some time they ask you to pay them…Have in mind those people take their time and are not always in a hurry.
Make sure you never ever provide them with your personal information
If you don’t know someone or can’t check on them to validate their identity or position do not give them any of your information
There are different job scams and unfortunately they are making their appearance in security industry a lot often lately.
-Employment/ Career scams those kind of scams include cases when companies are trying to sell you services or scams while attempting collect your personal information to sell to a third-party who will then try to market their products/services to you. We that operate in security industry are the perfect prospective clients for industries that offer products or equipment for military or LE personnel. Believe it or not some companies would pay to get access in contact details while targeting their sales to specific clientele. It is similar to Phishing Scams when you get an email saying a company has clients with positions that you could be qualified for, they even send you all the job position hiring details. I’m sure many of us have been receiving similar e-mails ‘’Your online resume has recently come to my attention. I am impressed with your qualifications. A client of mine needs to fill an opening and because of your previous experience in the tech industry, I believe you might be a solid match. In order to see the full job description, just click on the link below or paste it into your browser’s address bar.’’
What just happened is that you got directed through a link they provided you to a website where you have to fill out a form with your personal and contact information. Again this is an attempt to collect your personal information either to sell you services or to sell to a third-party for another use.
-Career Consulting Scams In this case a “career consultants” will contact you and say how much impressed he/she is with your qualifications and would like to represent you. In addition, you will have to pay him/her for their marketing, resume writing, resume reviews, or other career-related services. Does the word headhunters rings a bell to you?
–Recruiting Scams is the method used we mentioned previously. Someone contact you saying that they have clients with positions that you could be qualified for, though they don’t have any current openings. However, they also offer training sessions you should purchase to enhance your candidacy. They want to sell you their products which in this case is training.
-Bait and Switch Scams You have been applied for a specific job position and you are selected for an interview. During the interview you will discover that the job you applied for doesn’t exist or it has been already closed and the company tries to direct you accepting a completely different position or accept different benefits and payment than the job you applied for.
Although Job Scams can sound non serious to some or being aware and search first before apply or reply to a contact may seem a time-consuming and headache to others, it is preferable to be cautious instead of losing our money by paying someone who is not who suppose he/she to be for services that we will never receive or we have been misleading for.
Athena Academy Founder