Beware of fake Job Listings originating from “AbacusAgencies.com”
Recently we’ve been made aware of an ongoing scam impersonating our employees and using Abacus’ name, logo and imagery to entice prospective job seekers into providing personally identifiable information.
These listings are posted using the real names and photos of our employees, pulled from public information, but originate from AbacusAgencies.com emails, or via LinkedIn and Telegram messages.
Abacus Agency currently does not have any openings at this time, and we urge any prospective job seekers to alert us immediately if you are contacted via Direct Message or Email about a potential job opportunity.
Abacus never conducts any interviews via text message, direct message or email, and we urge you to contact us if you see these listings online.
Most importantly, at no time will Abacus ask you to deposit a cheque or transfer money as part of any new job hiring process.
How does it work?
The FBI released a statement in April 2021, warning of cybercriminals using fake job listings to target applicants’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII). In the COVID-19 era, over 16,000 people were reported to the FBI as scammed through fake job listings with losses totaling more than $59 million.
Technology makes these scams easier and more lucrative than ever for fraudsters, often operating outside North America or Europe. They promise you a job, but what they really want is your money and personal information.
Criminals first spoof a legitimate company’s website by creating a domain name similar in appearance to a legitimate company.
Then they post fake job openings on popular job boards that direct applicants to the spoofed sites. Applicants then apply on the spoofed company websites or directly on the job boards. Applicants are contacted by email to conduct an interview using a teleconference application. According to victims, cyber criminals impersonated personnel from different departments, including recruiters, talent acquisition, human resources, and department managers.
The actual employees at these companies have no idea that their name and image are being used to defraud potential job seekers.
Telegram or Zoom is then used to set up fake interviews to entrap potential victims.
How to Protect Yourself
- Conduct a web search of the hiring company using the company name only. Results that return multiple websites for the same company (abccompany.com and abccompanyllc.com) may indicate fraudulent job listings.
- Legitimate companies will ask for PII and bank account information for payroll purposes AFTER hiring employees. This information is safer to give in-person. If in-person contact is not possible, a video call with the potential employer can confirm identity, especially if the company has a directory against which to compare employee photos.
- Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.
- Never provide credit card information to an employer.
- Never provide bank account information to employers without verifying their identity.
- Do not accept any job offers that ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. A legitimate company will not ask you to do this.
- Never share your Social Security number or other PII that can be used to access your accounts with someone who does not need to know this information.
- Before entering PII online, make sure the website is secure by looking at the address bar. The address should begin with “https://”, not “http://”.
- However: criminals can also use “https://” to give victims a false sense of security. A decision to proceed should not be based solely upon the use of “https://”.
If you are a victim of an employment scam, we recommend taking the following actions:
- Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov (USA) or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre / CAFC (Canada)
- Report the activity to the website in which the job posting was listed.
- Report the activity to the company the cyber criminals impersonated.
- Contact your financial institution immediately upon discovering any fraudulent or suspicious activity and direct them to stop or reverse the transactions.
- Ask your financial institution to contact the corresponding financial institution where the fraudulent or suspicious transfer was sent.