Is your New Year’s resolution to find a new job? Be wise with LinkedIn

The winter holidays have all but ended. There is no more leftover turkey to eat or presents to share. As the calendar reaches the new year, many people use this time to set benchmarks (New Year’s resolutions) for the upcoming year. Finding a new place of employment often ranks very high on many people’s resolution lists.

One way to learn about new job opportunities and develop relationships with potential employers is through the social media channel LinkedIn. This is a very useful tool for job searching, but with many job seekers using LinkedIn to market themselves to potential employers, scammers also are finding ways to exploit the site by posing as recruiters. Your Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants you to be ready to avoid this kind of scam.

It is well-known that LinkedIn appeals to job seekers because it allows them to post their experience and resumes and then be contacted by potential employers or recruiters. However, scammers are known to create fake profiles to disguise themselves as recruiters. They will send messages that include a link to a site that requires personal information. These kinds of websites may look legitimate, but often they ask for financial and personal information, such as Social Security numbers or birthdates. Scammers then are able to use that information to steal your identity, access bank accounts or install malware on your computer.

Your BBB offers these simple tips to avoid becoming a victim of a LinkedIn scam:

  • Do not add just anyone on LinkedIn. Before connecting with or adding someone, check out their profile and connections. If you have doubts about their legitimacy, do not add them.
  • Remember that you will never be asked to pay for a legitimate job. If a ‘recruiter’ mentions an opportunity where you must pay for training it is a good idea block them.  A real employer will never ask you to pay to work.
  • Always be wary of work-at-home jobs. Real work-at-home jobs are scarce, so be cautious when you find these postings. Be sure to check their references and talk to former employees.
  • Search for the recruiter’s picture. Scammers often use a fake, generic photo and you can most likely find the photo elsewhere. A good place to check pictures is Google images.
  • Insist on you calling them. If a recruiter contacts you via message, request to speak on the phone. If they seem to avoid your phone call or won’t give you their number, consider that a red flag.
  • If you find yourself a victim of the scam, act fast. If a scammer can access your computer, they could have collected your personal information including passwords and banking information. Change your passwords immediately. If you see any strange banking activity, tell your bank.
  • If victim of a scam, after contacting your bank or authorities, be sure to share this information with your online friends. A rising tide of awareness raises all ships.
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1 Comment

Filed under Investigation, News You Can Trust

One response to “Is your New Year’s resolution to find a new job? Be wise with LinkedIn

  1. Mark Burrows

    I just read a recent article in a magazine that lauded the internet and features such as Facebook and LinkedIn as ways we keep connected and in the loop. Personally, I think it is a bunch of crap.
    I am not saying there are not reliable sites to job hunt on, there are. Governments provide job posting sites very similar to the old days when you went down to the unemployment office and scanned the job board for likely jobs, took them down and went to see one of the job seeking assistants to chat with for details and provide a letter of introduction.
    For not Government sites in the USA Monster.com is one of the top sites and Canada has a great site called Workopolis.
    Looking for employment should be a time honored tradition of integrity. We should always keep a constant resume up to date, and go into interviews with positive aggressive attitudes. Employers look for eagerness.
    Here is a tip that if you wish to enter a job that you do not have experience in that rarely fails.
    When asked if you have experience at the job, answer honestly that you do not, but then ask the interviewer which they would rather prefer. A person who comes in here and claims they know it all and upsets the rest of the staff by saying he or she can do a better job, but you wonder why that person is no longer at their previous job, OR, would you prefer a person who is eager to learn under the guidance of the company and learn the skills custom suited to the companies needs.
    The reason that strategy works is you are appealing to their senses of superiority and the desire to take you under their wing and do as you suggest. Make you a model employee, trained to perfection.
    Showing you confidence, high self esteem, and eagerness is paramount in any job interview.
    Point being, if you are going to use the internet as a source to seek employment, use the reliable and highly credited job search sites. Do not use social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and yes even LinkedIn because it is more of a social environment for trade workers and professionals, so because of it’s social atmosphere, it is easy to be invaded by scam artists.
    One more thing, Craigslist is another highly risk site for job seeking.
    All of what I said goes the same for those seeking to hire employees, use the better sites.

    Mark Burrows

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