In Oregon, the FBI has been receiving more and more reports from people getting scammed as they try to apply for jobs or unemployment benefits. The reports, from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, show that bad actors are targeting victims who are already in financially difficult situations.
Many businesses and government agencies use private, third-party companies to verify that you are really you. The goal is to cut down on fraud. These verification companies are legitimate, but fraudsters, of course, are gaming the system.
In one scenario, the bad actor posts a fake job online and directs you to the verification company. You complete the process, and the bad actor comes back and asks for your login or verification info to finish processing your application. He accesses the account and uses your profile to apply for unemployment in one or more states.
In another scenario, the bad actor posts a job online and directs you to what appears to be a legitimate verification company but one that is, in fact, fake. Again, he harvests your information and goes about committing all kinds of identity crimes.
How do you protect yourself?
If you are the victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.