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As job scams are becoming more sophisticated, it should come as no surprise that more job seekers are becoming victims of them.
The surprise is that the tech-savvy Millennials are getting the worst of it, according to findings from a new research by FlexJobs.
Among the more than 2,600 respondents, one-fifth of them aged between 20-29 reported they have been scammed for jobs. This figure dipped to 13% among respondents aged 60-69 years.
Overall, 17% of job seekers have reported being a victim of a job scam at least once.
In an interview with Fast Company, FlexJobs founder and CEO Sara Sutton Fell noted Millennials are more likely to look for jobs with telecommuting options, which are known to be rampant with scams.
As a result, they are also more likely to be exposed to these sorts of scams.
According to the survey, there are 60 to 70 scams for every one legitimate job posting. However, job applicants seem to be unaware of the risks, with only 48% saying they were “on guard” for frauds during job search.
Sutton Fell pointed out the perils in scammers becoming more sophisticated.
Scammers have broadened their target audience from unskilled jobs such as mystery shopping, envelope stuffing, and check processing, to more professional opportunities in a wide variety of career types and with name-brand companies.
“By impersonating trusted companies like Google and GE, scammers are able to get unsuspecting job seekers to let their guard down much faster, and to successfully get personal information from them more easily,” Sutton Fell said.
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Hunting for jobs on LinkedIn is a popular trend among Millennials, and it is recommended job seekers check their LinkedIn contacts carefully after a member of the FlexJobs LinkedIn group reported fraud in a job she got through the social media network.
The job seeker said she was contacted by someone on LinkedIn profile and was offered a work-at-home position with generous pay.
After working for two weeks, the company informed her they are going in a different direction. The victim was never given the US$1,000 salary she was owed and the company ignored her calls and emails.