Received Unsolicited Email From Recruiter
Yes, you read it correct. I almost got scammed on LinkedIn by a job recruiter. In January I got an unsolicited email from a recruiter stating she had viewed my profile and I was a “great fit for an amazing opportunity.” She went on to say that they were looking for a person to fill a remote, work from home position as an administrative assistant. If I was interested all I had to do is reply and send my resume. After reading this initial email nothing stood out to me that was off. But before replying I did go on LinkedIn and look at her profile and from what I could gather it looked legit. So, I did reply and send my resume.
She responded back with more details about the position, including the start date, that it was part-time and a detailed list of work duties. She also indicated no interview was required and gave the weekly salary amount. Since this was a remote virtual assistant position, she talked about the software program I would use and that training would be provided. She told me that if I was still interested to please send an acceptance letter.
Expressed Concerns About Accessibility
I replied with interest but with a concern. I disclosed my disability and said I needed to talk with the technology department to be sure that the virtual software I would be using would be accessible with my screen reader. In her reply she didn’t address this but just restated I would get training. That is when my eyebrow began to raise. I have been blind for about 20 years using adaptive technology the entire time. Meaning, if a computer software program doesn’t work with my screen reader then I can’t use that software. It is not something to take lightly or dismiss. Those of us in the blind community deal with this all the time. We come across inaccessible websites, apps and computer programs. There are work arounds but we have to talk about it and figure things out. Yet I didn’t pick that up from the recruiter. I got the impression she just wanted to move forward.
She sent me an email giving more details about testing and equipment for the job. This is when the red flag was raised and I knew clearly this was a scam. In the message she asked me for my mailing address so a nearly $3,000 check could be sent to me. This check was to cover the purchase of my equipment and first week’s pay. I had heard about scams like this from listening to the Clark Howard Show, a local consumer advocate. I politely responded telling her I would have to decline the offer because I couldn’t get a clear answer on the accessibility of the software. I also went back to LinkedIn and her profile was mysteriously gone.
Reporting the Job Scam
Next, I went to LinkedIn to find a way to report the scam and had a hard time finding the info. Under the Help section, I came across this great article written by Biron Clark on how to spot and avoid job scams. After reading it I was looking for some kind of “report a scam” type button. I was disappointed that LinkedIn didn’t have it right there with the article. After discussing this issue with a friend, she helped me find the form to report the scam but it was in a location I wouldn’t have ever thought to look. It was in the “safety center.” I filled out the form and a representative contacted me rather quickly asking for more details, which I supplied. But once I asked for the findings and resolution, I was told that due to privacy I wouldn’t be allowed to know. This of course was disappointing but there was not much I could do about it. I left feeling a little taken advantage of and deflated. So, I decided to write this post and share with you as a warning and to help me reclaim some of my power.
As I started researching to write this post, I came across lots of articles on line about this topic. There were even ones specifically about job scams on LinkedIn. Apparently, this is a hot button issue especially with the coronavirus causing people to look for jobs and work remotely. Since I was already working from home beforehand, I was not paying close attention to all that was happening. But now I am! There is all kinds of tips and tricks on how to avoid job scams. So, I encourage you to read up on this so you can be safe. When I think of a scam it is usually financial, some kind of email or someone trying to hack into my computer. Or some phone scam like the IRS or Social Security calling. I had not considered job scams like a recruiter reaching out to me about a job that didn’t exist and for that matter neither did they.
Let’s discuss job scams. Have you ever delt with a job scam? If so, how did you handle it? Waht advice would you give to others to avoid scams like these?
6 thoughts on “Warning! A Job Recruiter Tried to Scam Me on LinkedIn”
I have not dealt with a job scam, but I recently dealt with fraudulent claims and coercion scams. I consider myself pretty savvy but when I was contacted by the International Society of Female Professionals, they made me feel like I was in the Who’s Who of business women. I checked out their FB page, and that’s where it stopped. It said they were a networking organization leading to many opportunities, but they had to vett you beforehand, basically, through a phone interview. Long story, short, I was taken in and gave them my debit card information. I had 15 days to get my money back. The next morning, I came to my senses and phoned to get my money back. No one answered. I called several times, and it only went to an answering machine. They said it would take 3-4 business days to transfer my money, but when I checked, the money was gone the next morning. I called my bank, canceled my card and filed a letter of dispute. I can’t believe I was so gullible! My friend looked the organization up online and said there several links to this organization being a scam. One one link alone there were 42 complaints!
Thanks for highlighting this topic. It’s an important one.
Amy, what I have learned is that it happens to the best of us. These scam artist are really good! We just have to help each other and stay on our toes.
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Due diligence is required with so many things these days, especially online. I know usually google whatever I want to find out about by adding “reviews, scams” or something similar to see if any useful negative info pops up. I know a lot of things, like reviews, can be fake but still it’s better than nothing. I have had some similar recent experiences and was lucky enough to escape unscathed so far, at least as far as I am aware at this point.
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Yes, I have heard to do the same thing when searching online. You just have to do the best you can. I got an email from my bank this week about my bill pay account asking me to click on the attachment to read the message. Well, I didn’t but called them instead. And guess what? They said that email was not from them.
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Some banks will even ask you to forward the spam or whatever it’s called to them.
Yes, you are right about that. I guess they want to see who sent it out and how they did it. I know when I got some spam email from Comcast I reported it and they wanted me to send them a copy of the email.