DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A woman in Delray Beach is warning others after she encountered a fake job offer while searching for jobs earlier this month.
“It’s been frustrating,” Marci Strouch told Contact 5.
Strouch has been searching for a new job since she was laid off from her previous job in December. She’s been using sites like Careerbuilder.com and LinkedIn to search for job postings.
“A lot of rejections and some false job opportunities that I’ve gotten,” Strouch said. “Last week, I got a text message from somebody. They said, 'Hi, this is Davis from Laboratory Corporations of America.' He asked if I had Skype, which was a little bit shady to me. I didn’t have Skype but I was able to download it quickly. He connected me with his hiring manager and I told the hiring manager, I’m not camera ready on Skype and he told me we’re just going to text.”
After a quick Google search, Strouch said she came across a warning on Labcorp’s website advising consumers to be careful due to various false recruitment scams floating around the internet.
“I told the interviewer, the hiring manager, that I was not comfortable continuing with this platform and when he said, ‘Well what’s the issue, Marci?’" she said. "I showed him a picture of the fraudulent job scams that are on the Labcorp website. Then it was dead silence after that.”
Cybersecurity experts told Contact 5 these are all signs of a scam that is becoming more and more common, especially when consumers are online and vulnerable.
“We’ve seen a number of layoffs at the beginning of this year and scammers know that and they know people are looking for work and they’re taking advantage of that opportunity,” Hilary Donnell, head of corporate social responsibility and public affairs at the cybersecurity company Aura, said.
Donnell told Contact 5, between July and September of last year, there were more than 20,000 reports to the FTC of job-related scams, which cost consumers more than $75 million.
“Some red flags would be unofficial communication methods via text message or WhatsApp, or through an email, like Gmail or Yahoo, instead of an official company email address,” Donnell said.
Donnell said another red flag is when the alleged hiring manager asks for your social security number or a copy of your driver's license before going through an official hiring process.
These are warning signs that Strouch said she'll be keeping an eye out for as she continues her job search.
“That’s what made me really want to contact the news, because I was afraid other people would fall victim to that scam,” Strouch said.