By District Attorney Summer Stephan
As your District Attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s Office and you, the community. One way I have been doing that is through this monthly column, where I provide consumer tips on public safety matters.
Maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job. With the days of seeking employment through classified ads in the rear-view mirror, most of us opt for searching for work online. And of course, there are a plethora of companies that vow to make this journey less stressful by directly connecting employers to potential employees.
LinkedIn is a company that seeks to make job hunting easier by serving a social network tailored to professionals. It allows working professionals to stay connected with other professionals in their field and to message and send relevant opportunities to one another. As with anything where technology is involved, scammers have found a way to use this social media site for far more nefarious purposes than originally intended.
This scam involves shady characters assuming the identity of a prospective employer and connecting with interested candidates for a job opening. As these bogus employers message others on LinkedIn, those who respond are soon persuaded to buy supplies and equipment that they falsely believe is vital to their new job. Some scammers even go as far as interviewing job candidates in an attempt to further legitimize their swindle. In some cases, job candidates are coerced into revealing sensitive personal information such as their social security number, which is then used for identity fraud.
Here are some ways you can prevent falling prey on job searching sites:
The most important rule to follow is to never give any money to anyone you’ve connected with on social media. A legitimate business would never force an employee to commit funds before hiring them.
Now, what happens if you followed all this advice but still managed to find yourself in a LinkedIn scam?