Employment scams are widespread and aimed at all job seekers. However, scammers frequently target veterans and military spouses at higher rates than their civilian counterparts. With the demand for remote work higher than ever, we are seeing an uptick in military employment scams.
Fake recruiters contact job seekers through online and social platforms with an offer of work-from-home or remote job opportunities. The goal for these fraudsters is to convince you to give away your sensitive information to allow them to steal your identity or money.
According to AARP, Military spouses were most frequently victimized by employment scams, with 19.2 percent of those who encountered a scheme reporting a financial loss. Veterans reported losing money in 16.6 percent of cases; the rate for nonmilitary workers was 15.5 percent. Typical veterans victimized by an employment scam lost $1,905 (that’s the median loss); followed by military spouses, at $1,825; service members, at $1,680; and civilians, at $1,000.
How to Recognize Military Job Scams
The top three websites with bogus job listings reported were Indeed, LinkedIn and Facebook. Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and smart in your job hunt:
- Be suspicious if someone offers you a position that requires you to pay an upfront fee or training fee. The start-up fee might sound realistic, such as covering your laptop and equipment costs, but real employment opportunities don’t work that way.
- Be on alert if you receive emails or text messages from potential employers that contain typos or broken sentences.
- Even if the message is polished and well-written, that doesn’t mean it’s a real job. There are other clues to look for. For example, does the sender’s email address match the company name? Do the phone numbers/area codes make sense for the business location? Is it a real organization?
- Some scammers will use the name of a real company, so make sure you check the details and ask a lot of questions. You can also search the company name and “scam” to see if anything pops up. Legitimate job offers will not come unsolicited via text message.
- Do not provide a social security number, bank account information, or any other sensitive information until you’ve received a valid, signed job offer. These types of requests will never come in the first exchange with a legitimate employer.
Help Protect Others By Reporting Scams
If a scammer targets you, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime.