Scammers impersonate well-known companies, recruit for fake jobs on LinkedIn and other job platforms

Scammers are lurking on LinkedIn and other job sites, posing as “recruiters” for well-known companies. But instead of looking to hire you, they’re really looking to take your money and personal information.

It starts with a direct message on a job search site like Indeed or LinkedIn. The “recruiter” says you have exactly the skill set they’re looking for. Next, they’ll email an official-looking invitation for a virtual interview along with a Job Briefing guide that gives you details about your job duties and job benefits. (Did that email come from a personal email, not a company account? That’s a red flag.) After the virtual interview, you get an official-looking offer letter, complete with the company’s name and logo.

But after they offer you the job, they’ll push for your money and personal information. You’ll get an invoice (it’s fake) for equipment like a computer they’ll order for you, but tell you to pay for — using cash, Zelle, or PayPal. They promise to reimburse you. But they won’t because it’s a scam.

Or, instead, they’ll ask for your personal information, like your driver’s license, Social Security, or bank account number, to fill out “employment paperwork.” And they want it before they’ll answer your questions about the job. But if you share it, they might steal your identity.

To spot these scams, know that honest employers will never ask you to pay upfront fees for a job or for equipment. And they won’t ask you to pay them using cash, Zelle or PayPal. Anyone who does is a scammer.

To avoid these scams, never give out personal information before doing some research. Contact the company directly using a phone number you know to be legitimate — not one you got from the “recruiter.” Or go to the company’s website. If you can’t confirm the job is real, it could be a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has resources to help you spot job scams. If you spot a scam, report it at

By Larissa Bungo, FTC Senior Attorney

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