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Fraudulent job listings have reportedly tripled in recent years. Here's what to do if your organization gets caught in the chaos.

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You’ve got your job description; you’ve listed on all your go-to sites. Your coffee is hot, and you’re ready for the slew of applicants coming your way.

So where are they?

Unfortunately, if you’re not paying attention, they may be avoiding your company entirely thanks to bad actors increasingly using bogus job listings to trick people out of their money and personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 104,000 consumer complaints about fake job opportunities in 2021 — that’s twice as many as the agency received in 2020 and nearly three times the amount reported in 2019.

In some cases, falling victim to job scams can lead to money loss. According to the FTC, more than $86 million has been lost to employment scams in the second quarter of 2022 alone—a whopping 64% increase compared to a year ago.

In other cases, scammers aim to steal personal information, which can lead to identity theft.

It's about your brand.

But what happens to your business’s reputation when, unbeknownst to you, someone trades on your company’s good name and reputation? Can a victim of an employment scam really hold your business accountable?

It’s not just consumers and job seekers who suffer. Companies who fail to guard their brand may be hit with negative associations and falling trust among job seekers, reducing the quality and quantity of your candidates. Left unchecked, that negative image can spill over into consumer sentiment, affecting your business itself.

The good news is you can prevent this type of negative brand experience from impacting your workplace. What sort of steps can businesses take to protect themselves—and job seekers—from job scams?

Report scams right away.

If you discover your business has been fraudulently represented in a job scam, try to collect as much information as you can regarding how the job seeker was contacted and by whom. To prevent the scam from escalating its potential damage, report your findings as soon as possible to the relevant agencies:

Make your process transparent.

Whether your organization is a main-street-sized small business or an international conglomerate, be sure everyone involved with your recruiting and onboarding has a clearly defined process to follow every time. Use only business email addresses for communication. Never ask applicants for payment or banking information. Hold off on asking for personal information until the applicant is hired and in the door.

Provide context.

If you have a careers page on your company website, consider adding instructions on exactly how you communicate with job seekers and what they should expect, including:

  • What communication methods your company uses to reach out to job applicants—and which you never use
  • Clear, concise links to your job listing pages
  • Explanations of the information your recruiters will ask for, and clarification of that which you’ll never request—like money or social security numbers
  • A means to contact your HR team if a person suspects they’ve fallen for a job scam using your business name or identity

Additionally, if you become aware of job seeker scams misusing your company’s information, utilize social media channels to shine light on the event and inform readers that you take these incidents seriously.

Educate your employees.

Once you have a corporate response in place, make sure your team is updated. Employees should be notified any time a scam is discovered, and regular cybersecurity training should include how to spot suspicious social media and job site posts.

Allstate Identity Protection provides free resources to your entire team, regardless of enrollment, to help them be smarter and safer online. In fact, Allstate Identity Protection members are 75 times less likely to be victims of identity fraud when compared to Javelin Research’s general US identity fraud rate of 5.87%.

And stay vigilant.

Job scams can present a uniquely distressing experience for applicants, but it doesn’t have to erode your business’s reputation. Be proactive, be transparent, and protect your team.

Want to learn more about adding identity theft protection to your benefits offering? Click here.