There will always be people who look for ways to earn extra cash during the holiday season and that gives cybercriminals an opportunity to exploit this need and push their scams. The objective of the type of scam we’re discussing here is identity theft.
Cyberpunks create fake websites and email domains that mimic established businesses, then push phishing emails and texts or even social media messages in order to hook victims. They’ll ask for all the routine information required when you fill out a job application such as name, address, phone number, driver’s license or passport or other government issued ID. Naturally they collect your information digitally and never request anything in person. This data or your PII (Personal Identifiable Information) represents everything a hacker needs to create a fake identity.
They’ll use your PII to open fraudulent bank accounts, credit cards or they can sell your information on the dark web. These intruders count on our level of comfort sharing this type of information for job applications and on people who are interested in having extra cash for the holidays.
According to the FTC, “Americans were scammed out of $86 million due to fake business and job opportunities in the second quarter of 2022.”
Black hats will often make offers that sound too good to be true, appealing to people who might be in desperate situations. If you are ever in doubt, trust your gut feelings and do not share your personal information. You should also report anything suspicious to the authorities.
Stay safe and happy holidays!
1. Jennifer Liu, “22-year-old shares nightmare of getting scammed by a fake job: ‘I went from excited to devastated in a month’” CNBC, September 18, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/18/22-year-old-goes-viral-for-sharing-job-scam-nightmare-and-red-flags.html