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Some people aren’t ashamed. Less than a year has passed since I was approached by the Internet fraudster who claims to be an expert in personnel selection for a medium-sized computer company in New England. In this case, a person posing as Ms. Kirsten Lambert contacted me via email from ZipRecruiter about a job at Belcan, LLC, and I spent several days questioning her about this fake job until I finally called her to lie.

Now they’re back. Maybe not the same crook, but the one using a similar modus operandi (you’d think those idiots would support a database of exploded tags, but I’m out) This time it was a direct email from Stephanie Serra, allegedly from the recruitment company SourceLast. The job said they found my resume on Hired.com and wanted to know if it was up to date and if I was available for an interview this week.

Without filling out a profile on Hired.com, I immediately became suspicious. The details of what they were looking for seemed rather vague. The email mentioned the update of my CV and then names of well-known companies such as DraftKings, CarGurus, Wayfair and HubSpot were published. In addition, the address of the sender indicated that it came from Mrs Serra, who according to LinkedIn is indeed a sourceLast Recruiter, but its content was signed by Mrs Sabrina Prisjatelle, for whom no such employment history exists.

The last signal sign was the domain name in the reverse address. An impostor has never corrected a problem so easily that it occurs several times instead of just once. So, if I had bothered to answer the email, my correspondence would have been sent to [secure email] (note the extra s at the end), as opposed to sourcelast.com’s own domain name (simple, no extra s). If you try to go to sourcelasts.com, you will receive a nasty warning from Google about dangerous content before forwarding it to the appropriate domain.

Now that I’m convinced it was indeed a fraudulent letter, I quickly tracked down the real Stephanie Sierra on LinkedIn to tell her that her identity had been used in the scam. And while I’m waiting for his answer, I can’t help being a little annoyed at the border – angry at this last attempt to cheat on me. In a world where COWIDs are closed and unemployment is high, the hunt for unsuspecting job-seekers – many of whom are now absolutely desperate for work – is truly a despicable act.

In summary: If you are actively looking for work in these difficult times, you have to be doubly careful. Fraudsters can smell the blood of despair in the water, and they go around in circles in the rental park looking for stamps that they can get back with offers that are too good to be the real thing.

Please take a few minutes to check for signs of fraud before answering this installation email: Incorrect domain name/invalid e-mail return addresses; links to third party websites that appear to be unrelated to the company employing them; and obvious spelling and grammatical errors (English) indicating the foreign origin of the message.

And if, after carrying out the necessary legal checks, you still think that the offer is legitimate, contact the employer via a secure and controlled service such as LinkedIn. In most cases they will be happy to answer you and confirm that they have contacted you. Or, as I learned in my previous recruitment letter with Belkan, they will be grateful that you warn them about the scam – and perhaps even show their gratitude by looking at your CV. Nothing greases the wheels of an employer as much as saving a potential career – and reputation!

Photo rental : Lasse Christensen/Schutterstock

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