- Recruitment scams impersonate employers or recruiters, offering high-salary jobs out of the blue, typically without an interview process.
- Upfront payment requests for job applications, fake training programmes, and check-cashing schemes are often used to extract money from victims.
- Crypto-related recruitment scams often involve fake ads for well-known crypto companies or coercing victims to join fraudulent crypto trading schemes.
- Always thoroughly research companies, cross-check job postings, avoid upfront payments, safeguard personal information, and report suspicious activities to relevant authorities.
What Is a Scam?
A scam is a fraudulent or deceptive scheme designed to trick individuals into giving away their money, personal information, and/or other valuable assets. Scammers use various tactics and strategies to manipulate their victims into believing they are dealing with a legitimate opportunity, service, or product, when in reality, their intentions are dishonest and malicious.
Scams can take many forms, such as fake investment opportunities, phishing emails, pyramid schemes, identity theft, lottery scams, romance scams, and more. They often exploit psychological triggers like urgency, fear, greed, or a desire for gain in order to manipulate victims into taking actions that benefit the scammer.
To protect oneself from scams, it’s important to be cautious and sceptical when encountering unsolicited offers, requests for personal information, and/or deals that seem too good to be true.
What Is a Recruitment Scam?
Recruitment scams involve fake job opportunities, with scammers posing as recruiters or employers in order to get victims to act. The scammers typically impersonate professionals in the industry and often contact victims from private email addresses or social media accounts not associated with legitimate organisations.
A tell-tale sign is providing vague details about the job, offering high salaries and positions without interviews, and asking for money or personal information before the candidate can start their position. These scams can lead to significant financial losses, with an estimated US$2 billion lost each year.
To identify and avoid recruitment scams, job seekers should be cautious of emails and attached files from free accounts, scrutinise the authenticity of job offers, and be wary of recruiters who are evasive or provide unrealistic promises.
How Do Recruitment Scams Work in Detail?
Recruitment scams employ various tactics to extract money from their victims. Below are a few common methods:
- Requesting upfront payment: Scammers may ask job seekers to pay a fee for processing an application, conducting background checks, or arranging for travel expenses. They use this as an excuse to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
- Fake training or certification programmes: Scammers may offer job seekers the opportunity to participate in training or certification programmes that require payment. However, these programmes are often nonexistent or of low quality and created with the sole purpose of extracting money.
- Check-cashing schemes: Scammers may send counterfeit checks to job seekers, asking them to deposit the checks and then transfer a portion of the funds back to the scammer. By the time the bank discovers the check is fake, the victim has usually already sent money to the scammer.
- Money transfer requests: Scammers may request job seekers to wire money or send crypto for various reasons, such as processing fees, visa applications, or equipment purchases. Once the money is sent, it is usually impossible to recover.
- Attaching malicious files: Scammers may attach malicious files to recruitment emails, using applicants’ interest in crypto jobs as an indication they own cryptocurrencies. Once these attachments are opened, malware is downloaded onto the victim’s computer without their knowledge, and their cryptocurrency may become vulnerable to theft.
Recruitment Scams in the Crypto Space
Recruitment scams have used both fiat and cryptocurrency to exploit job seekers. One common tactic is fake crypto job ads, where scammers may lure victims by offering fake job opportunities for well-known cryptocurrency platforms like Crypto.com. In other cases, they may lure victims into committing fraudulent activities, such as participating in cryptocurrency trading schemes or promoting fake cryptocurrencies.
In addition, scammers may claim that job applicants owe them Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency for ‘job materials’ they purchased, or to cover application or hiring fees. These scams can result in significant financial losses for job seekers, with some victims losing as much as US$10,000.
Remember that Crypto.com will only make job offers through official channels like LinkedIn, and all communications should come from email addresses ending in @crypto.com or verified accounts. Crypto.com will never demand payment or fees from candidates during the recruitment process. Job seekers should be cautious and never provide funds or personal financial information to potential employers without verifying their legitimacy.
How to Avoid Falling for a Recruitment Scam
To protect against recruitment scams in the crypto space, take protective measures, including the below:
- Research the company: Thoroughly investigate the company offering the job. Look for a professional website, genuine contact information, and positive online reviews. If the company is unfamiliar or lacks an online presence, proceed with caution. Recruitment-related communications from Crypto.com will always be via email that ends in @crypto.com.
- Verify the job posting: Cross-check the job details provided in the advertisement with the company’s official website or other reputable job portals. Be wary of unrealistic job offers, excessively high salaries, or promises of quick riches.
- Beware of upfront payment requests: Legitimate employers usually do not ask for money up front. Be cautious if a company demands payment for training, equipment, and/or administrative fees before starting work.
- Check for legitimate contact information: Ensure the company’s contact information is valid, including an official email address and phone number. Avoid employers who exclusively use personal email accounts or refuse to provide a physical address.
- Be cautious of unsolicited job offers: If a job offer arrives out of the blue without having applied or gone through an interview process, be sceptical. Research the company and verify the authenticity of the offer before proceeding.
- Protect personal information: Avoid sharing sensitive personal information, such as a social security number or bank account details, until the company has been thoroughly vetted and deemed legitimate.
- Trust intuition: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust intuition. If the job offer seems suspicious or the employer exhibits unprofessional behaviour, it’s best to walk away and look for other opportunities.
- Report suspicious activities: If encountering a recruitment scam or suspect fraudulent behaviour, report it to the appropriate authorities, such as the local law enforcement agency.
By following these steps and staying vigilant, job seekers can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to recruitment scams and protect themselves from financial loss and identity theft.
Many schemes like recruitment, remittance, and investment scams have been reported for years in the traditional finance (TradFi) world, but they are increasingly entering the crypto space, as well. It’s important to be educated on the red flags of recruitment scams and the many others making their rounds. Stay vigilant, and when in doubt, directly contact the company in which the scammer claims to be part of in order to verify the legitimacy of the offer. Report any suspicious behaviour to the BBB or local law enforcement. Above all: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Due Diligence and Do Your Own Research
All examples listed in this article are for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, cybersecurity, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by Crypto.com to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Returns on the buying and selling of crypto assets may be subject to tax, including capital gains tax, in your jurisdiction.
Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a crypto asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility.