Job scams are on the rise, you’re not as invincible as you think, protect yourself

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already transformed many industries, with more significant changes still on the horizon. While much has been said about AI leading to job losses, today’s discussion focuses […] The post Job scams are on the rise, you’re not as invincible as you think, protect yourself appeared first on Techzim.

Job scams are on the rise, you’re not as invincible as you think, protect yourself

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already transformed many industries, with more significant changes still on the horizon. While much has been said about AI leading to job losses, today’s discussion focuses on AI and jobs from a different perspective.

First, I wrote the paragraph above and asked AI to rephrase it and you can clearly tell it wasn’t written by a human. However, in certain scenarios, AI-written material is plenty adequate. So, yeah, job losses are coming.

When we have that job loss conversation, we also make it a point to point out that AI will create jobs too. It’s just that for most people, we will have to gain new skills to participate. I will not sit here and claim that is easy or even feasible for many.

Not all jobs will be lost though but we are going to compete for the human ones left. So, if you thought the job-seeking process was stressful, it’s about to get worse.

Here’s the evil concoction that’s brewing: less jobs + more competition for those jobs + already high unemployment rate in Zim + remote work opportunities + desperation + AI = scammers paradise.

Job scams

AI is in that concoction because it is helping scammers craft better scams. Generative AI allows them to create legit-looking job descriptions, correspondence messages and everything else.

These scammers are posting fake job listings on reputable sites like LinkedInand then stealing information during their phony interview processes.

One of the biggest and easiest ways to weed scams from the wheat were the spelling and grammatical errors in their messages. Now they produce messages just as well as anybody else, easily. Thanks to AI.

We don’t have the stats for Zimbabwe, but globally, job scams are on the rise. In the US, job scams rose by 118% in 2023. These scammers steal money and personal information.

Companies often ask for more information than is necessary and a desperate job seeker is less likely to decline to provide said information. So, if a job seeker thinks they are dealing with a legit company, they divulge it all.

Now, there is a lot that scammers can do with your information but I know most people don’t care. The feeling is – I don’t have anything to my name, so good luck trying to use my information for monetary gain.

It’s a bit shortsighted to think like this. In Zimbabwe, some of these people are taking out loans, some from registered financial institutions and some from loan sharks in other peoples’ names. So, if you don’t want to be pursued by a bone-breaking loan shark debt collector, guard your information.

Taking your money

In addition to identity theft, the scammers will also try to directly steal cold hard cash from job seekers. The advice here is simple – there is no scenario in which the company interviewing you would request money from you.

These scammers will talk about some special training that you need to pay for, or some equipment or software you can only purchase through them or they can ask for payment for background checks, processing fees and and other admin costs.

Protecting yourself

The experts say there is no single foolproof/ surefire way to protect yourself from these types of scams. Instead, you have to be proactive. Here are some of the best ways to ensure you don’t fall prey to these people.

The first thing is to acknowledge that you’re not special and you could easily fall for a scam just as much as the next person. So, treat everything you see like a potential scam even on legit sites like LinkedIn.

Research the Company: Verify the legitimacy of the company and the job offer. Look for official websites and contact information, and check reviews and reports online.

Limit Personal Information During Application Process: Only provide essential personal information such as your name, phone number, job and education history, email, and home address.

Beware of Upfront Payments: Legitimate employers do not ask for money upfront. Be wary of any job offer that requires payment for training, equipment, or processing fees.

Verify Communication: Use official contact methods to verify job offers. Avoid using provided contact details without cross-referencing them with legitimate sources.

Check for Red Flags: Be cautious of unsolicited job offers, especially those that seem too good to be true or come with high salaries for minimal work.

Digital-Only Interactions Are a Red Flag: Be cautious of employers who only want to interact digitally. While phone calls can be more secure, they are not foolproof.

Consult Trusted Sources: Discuss suspicious job offers with friends, family, or any experts you may have access to.

Also read:

The post Job scams are on the rise, you’re not as invincible as you think, protect yourself appeared first on Techzim.

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