The latest trend in digital fraud is a build on PHISHING — sending emails impersonating reputable companies to obtain personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. A related scam, SMISHING, accomplishes the same ruse using SMS texting to dupe victims into thinking they are interviewing and receiving a job offer with a reputable company. The targeted candidate receives a job offer and onboarding request for banking information within hours of first contact. It is surreal to think that this scam can be successful without the victim ever speaking to a live person. The trick is in the trust and familiarity developed around texting as legitimate business communication.
A job search can be a trying experience, with candidates applying online, being screened by the applicant tracking system (ATS), and receiving no response or an automated rejection. SMISHING adds fraud to the challenges candidates encounter during the search process. In the worst-case scenario, applicants have their time wasted, their spirit broken, and their bank accounts accessed illegally. There is another victim of SMISHING. When a company or employee is impersonated for SMISHING or other fraud, reputations are at stake.
At Xavier Creative House, we practice sustainable business practices that include robust recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes. We provide multiple face-to-face Zoom interviews with numerous team members and thoughtful interview questions customized to the role. And after due consideration, a verbal offer is presented on Zoom, followed by a written offer and comprehensive onboarding. To reduce the impact of this growing threat, we are educating candidates and employers about the typical signs of SMISHING.
- Contact from an outdated or informal email extension
- Use of Skype or other all-texting platforms to conduct an interview
- Improper grammar or awkward sentence structure in the communication exchange
- Offer of employment via text on the same day of first contact or interview
- With pressure for an immediate reply with acceptance
- With requests for banking information to set up payroll via check/direct deposit
CANDIDATES SHOULD ACT SWIFTLY
SMISHING has found its way into many popular job sites by impersonating reputable companies with false interviews and offers of employment designed to obtain banking information. If you notice any red flags in your job search, pause the activity and immediately reach out to the potential employer through the contact information on their secure website. Be sure to express the seriousness of the situation with language such as “VERIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW/OFFER.”
If you are an interested candidate for one of our posted positions, you can safely submit your resume here.
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