As more and more people use online methods for recruiting legal professionals, more and more opportunistic scammers take advantage of this from unaware victims. Job seekers apply for jobs that seem like a great fit, only to find the job posting was a scam and their personal data is now compromised.
Meanwhile, employers call upon job seekers who look perfect on the application only to find there is no answer to their calls and never a reply to their emails, as gaining employment was never that “perfect” applicant’s intent.
In today’s legal job market, those looking for work move quickly out of necessity, so an unresponsive candidate may have just grabbed the first opportunity and ignored further inquiries. But another possibility is that the applicant is actively committing unemployment benefit fraud. And it happens much more than you may think. In 2015, the system made $3.5 billion in improper payments, an error rate of 10.7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
While these fake job seekers may be a headache to human resources managers trying to fill a legal professional role, the fake job post is a problem far more sinister.
Fake job postings began in earnest more than a decade ago as the permanent shift to online job seeking became the norm. The goal of most fake job posts is the collection of private data: names, addresses and work history. The more aggressive job posting scams include gathering social security numbers as part of the application process. Often disguised as “business opportunities” targeting any job seeker, these scams will request banking info which is then used to open lines of fraudulent credit. A struggling job seeker, already in a tough situation, is now facing an even bigger problem with identity theft.
Whether a recruiter or job seeker, fraud creates a lot of waste and uncertainty in the legal job market. Since August 4th – 10th is National Fraud Awareness Week, we put together some tips to avoid fraud in the online employment arena.
For job seekers
- Use a trusted job search site, including The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Career Center.
- Use a unique password for each one of your online accounts. This will lessen the chance that if someone hacks one of your accounts, they will not be able to access your other accounts.
- Don’t share too much personal information, including your social security number and birthday. Eventually an employer will need these items, so you can say, ‘Shared upon accepting the position’.
- If you suspect a fraud applicant, report it online via a secure connection at http://www.edd.ca.gov
- Post jobs at targeted, secure sites, including The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Career Center.
- Register with the State Information Data Exchange System to receive EDD notifications faster, which gives you more time to respond, decreases human error, and lowers administrative costs.