There have been reports from students and from news outlets of an increasing number of job recruitment scams seeking to take advantage of the unemployed during the COVID-19 crisis.

Though the style of the scam may vary, the job postings are most often advertising entry-level jobs with an unusually high rate of pay and flexible “work-from-home” hours.

Typically, a victim will receive an email from a Gmail account with a job offer or a text message—scammers most often find their victims through resumes posted on Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and similar career sites.

The recruiters almost always ask to conduct the interview on a private messaging app, such as Telegram, instead of a traditional email or phone interview. We also have reports that at the conclusion of the interview, the victim is requested to either

  1. send a deposit via check as an “application fee” or
  2. give their bank login credentials in order to “set up direct deposit.”

To those of you who are actively job searching, please take extra precautions to be sure you are not a victim of one of these scams.

Here are some signs to look out for:

Unprofessional language typically used in scams.

Work-at-home,” “work-from-home,” “quick money” are phrases that tend to come up in scams to make you more likely to apply.

A professionally written job offer typically uses phrases like “remote work” or “telecommuting” to describe these positions.

The employer is seeking to hire immediately or wants your reply urgently.

The hiring process is typically lengthy and involved.

Job offers that ask you to download a specific app to communicate with them or do not follow up with a phone interview.

It is practically never the case that you will be hired for a position without meeting a manager or a representative first either by phone, video call or in-person.

Job offers from generic email addresses like from Gmail and Yahoo.

Although some companies do conduct their business with personal accounts, most companies can easily obtain an official company domain to conduct their business.

Give job offers from personal email accounts a second glance before replying. Do background research on the company first, for example, check if they have a website or a Human Resources department you can reach out to.

Job offers that include application fees up front without a justification.

Never agree to send money, or perform a financial transaction on a company’s behalf.

A recruiter who asks you for your bank account login information when setting up direct deposit.

No one should ever ask you for your login information. Direct deposit can be accomplished with simply your bank account and routing number. If someone asks for your password to any of your accounts (especially financial ones), you are most likely dealing with a scammer.

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

If you have any questions about these scams, or you believe you are a victim of one, please feel free to contact our Information Security Team at for guidance.

Recommended Reading

IndeedGuidelines for Safe Job Search 

IndeedI May Have Been Scammed, What Can I Do?

ForbesJob Hunting Scams Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Security BoulevardCOVID-19 Phishing Update: Money Mule Scams Use Remote Opportunities to Entice Victims

Chicago TribunePeople job searching during coronavirus stay-at-home orders can be more vulnerable to employment scams

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
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