Employment Scams Affect Employers Too


Employment scams are on the rise, and your business may be part of one without your knowledge. Scammers knowingly include unsuspecting businesses in their scams by making them decoys. Scammers recruit applicants for non-existent jobs at a business through email, text messages, online classified ads, job posting websites, or personal messages on social media. The scammers then pose as job recruiters. They offer a position to a job seeker at a business that has no knowledge of the scammer’s fake job offer to a job seeker and may not even be seeking job applicants. 

Job applicants are asked to provide their bank account information, so that the scammer can deposit money into their bank account. The scammer then tells the job applicant to withdraw a portion of the money deposited and send it back; scammers often ask that it be converted into cryptocurrency. The scammer then tells the job seeker to keep the remainder of the money as a bonus or compensation. Of course, shortly after the job seeker sends the portion of money requested back to the scammer, the check initially sent to the bank by the scammer bounces, leaving the job seeker at a loss. 

A business may become aware of the scam when the job seeker reaches out to determine information about the bounced check and the position the job seeker believes the business offered. This contact is often disconcerting to the business since the business has yet to learn of the above described transaction nor any job offer made to the job seeker. 

What actions can a business take against scammers?

The business may report a scam job listing to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Report Fraud Website, or suggest to the scammed job seeker to report it. If the business decides to report the scam to the FTC, the employer should gather as much information as possible about the fraud from the scammed job seeker. The report should include the following:

  • The scam is related to a job
  • The pretend identity of the perpetrator
  • Whether any payment was sent to the scammer, how much, and how it was made
  • How the job seeker found out about the job listing

In addition to filing a report with the FTC, if the business becomes aware that a job search platform was used to post a fraudulent job listing, the business may want to make a report to the job listing platform. The platforms may have a better idea of who planted the fraudulent job listing. 

TAKEAWAY: If you are an employer whose business has been the victim of a scam and need help dealing with the aftermath or with any other employment laws, contact Stephanie Gironda or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.


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