Unmasking Job Scams: How to Safeguard Yourself in the Digital Job Market

In our increasingly digital world, we are becoming more aware and vigilant of the risks of everyday activities. One scam that’s seen an uptick in recent years is the existence of fraudulent job offers, or job scams.
A women looking at her laptop with a credit card in her hand and coffee on the table

In our increasingly digital world, we are becoming more aware and vigilant of the risks of everyday activities, such as making online purchases, receiving friend requests from strangers, or keeping our various passwords secure. But one scam that’s seen an uptick in recent years and is less talked about is the existence of fraudulent job offers, or job scams. 

Landing a new career opportunity should be one of the most exciting experiences you can have, but unfortunately for some it can turn into a nightmare. The Better Business Bureau reports around 14 million people are exposed to job scams every year globally. In the U.S. alone, people lost a staggering $737 million to fake job offers between 2019 and 2023. On average, successful job scams cost victims around $8,700 each.

Here at UKG we only want the best experience for our candidates but unfortunately, we know of fraudulent job offers purported to be from UKG. Whilst we try to shut down fake websites and fake job postings as quickly as possible, we know more will appear. To help prospective applicants around the world I thought it would be helpful to explore some essential strategies to protect yourself from job scams.

1. Pay attention to your instincts

Your gut feeling matters. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. When evaluating a job opportunity, pay attention to any red flags. Trust your instincts and proceed with caution. If you’re not sure if something is a scam, you can do a quick google search, including the job title, the position location, and the company. 

2. Verify the source

When contacted by a recruiter, don’t take things at face value. Double-check their credentials. Legitimate recruiters typically have well-established LinkedIn profiles. Be wary of recruiters without photos, sparse connections (especially within the company they claim to represent), or vague backgrounds. If a recruiter from UKG is reaching out via email, typically their email address will end with ukg.com. 

TIP: Always make sure you meet at least one person during the interview process. If the entire process is conducted via email or text, it’s likely to be a scam. 



3. Research a company and visit their careers page

Often scam job postings will use a similar URL to the actual company, be sure to check the URL is correct by visiting the company’s website. At UKG, we list our open positions on our official careers site. If you’re unsure about a job posting being legitimate make sure you visit their careers page.  Additionally, we will not make a job offer unless a candidate has gone through our formal hiring process. For more information about our hiring process, visit our FAQ page.

4. Beware of financial requests

UKG, and other legitimate employers, will never ask you to pay money upfront or send a cashier’s check. For new hires, we do not ask for payment for equipment purchase, cost for training, or to receive onboarding documents. If you encounter these requests, consider them major warning signs. Additionally, avoid sharing sensitive information like your Social Security number, passport, driver’s license, bank details, or birth date until you’re officially onboarded. Most organizations will leverage a secure platform to collect this information once onboard, be cautious of sending this information via email. 

5. Post your resume wisely

Protect your assets by posting your resume only on websites with robust privacy policies. Ensure that these platforms allow verified employers to review candidate data. By doing so, you minimize the risk of falling prey to fraudulent schemes.

6. Let us know

If you have any questions about the authenticity of an offer that you have received, contact us at [email protected]. 

Staying vigilant is paramount to ensuring your protection against scams during the interviewing and hiring process. If you suspect you are the victim of fraud, please contact your local authorities. If you are in the U.S., you may reach out to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or online at ftc.gov/complaint.