These days, employers need to be vigilant for potential scams. The Better Business Bureau states that in 2022, employment scams increased by almost 25 percent! What’s even worse is the money lost from these scams jumped 66.7% from an average of $900 to $1,500.
The scammers often present themselves as legitimate companies by stealing the identity of well-known or local companies. They may post fake job ads, ruin your reputation, or attempt to extort your company.
Common types of impersonation include job listings on reputable job-posting websites; social media such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; and fake websites.
Maintaining a strong presence is a good way to prevent scams like these from having a meaningful impact. Individuals who are familiar with your company’s accounts will be more likely to spot scams and report them to you. Additionally, this will make it harder for imposters to create fake accounts.
As an employer, you want to identify imposters and stop them before any potential applicants or customers can be scammed. There are many ways to be impersonated, so it’s important to scour the internet, especially websites on which your company doesn’t have a strong presence.
What to do after identifying a scam? There are multiple avenues to report a scam.
• You can report a scam to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov;
• You can contact your state attorney general (in NYS, it’s 1-800-771-7755);
• You can report a scam to the BBB Scam Tracker; and
• You can report an impersonator directly on most social media.
To do this, you’ll want to have your government-issued ID ready.
However, these options won’t immediately remedy the situation, so it may be worthwhile to take matters into your own hands.
Steps to take: Once you discover an impersonator, it’s wise to make postings on your company’s social media about what you’ve discovered. These posts inform customers and potential applicants that the company is being impersonated and to remain vigilant. It also helps to specifically identifying the scam and warning about it.
A social post like this serves multiple purposes; it:
• Protects applicants and customers from being scammed;
• Notifies anyone who may have been scammed; and
• Shows your company is being proactive.
It can be difficult for customers or applicants to identify an imposter but some key details to look for include:
• Misspelled words;
• Blurry, low-resolution logos; and
• Outlandish benefits/pay/cost (“too good to be true”).
The takeaway from the BBB’s report is that scams are on the rise, and they’re becoming more and more damaging to victims. Your company should take a proactive approach to dealing with scams and should be as transparent as possible with the public.
At The Coppola Firm, we’re experienced counselors and advisors who can help guide you through many kinds of employment and business-related issues. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716.839.9700 if you have questions or need guidance.