Scammers preying on online job seekers

Information miners disguise themselves as recruiters

ALBANY — As job hunters make increasing use of websites, another segment is being attracted to the sites as well — scammers.

On Wednesday, the Better Business Bureau sent out an advisory to professionals who sign up for business networking websites such as the popular LinkedIn. The bottom line: Find out who is getting your information and be careful who you “link up” with.

The release from the upper New York BBB notes that scammers are posing as recruiters on sites like LinkedIn in an attempt to get information on members of the sites that can be exploited.

“It’s well known that LinkedIn appeals to job seekers because it allows them to present their experience and professional positions, as well as be contacted by potential employers or recruiters,” BBB officials said. “However, scammers are known to create fake profiles to disguise themselves as recruiters.”

Using fake profiles, the bogus recruiters make contact with a job seeker and send links to legitimate-looking websites that require personal and/or financial information. “Scammers are able to use that information and can later steal your identity, access bank accounts or install malware on your computer,” BBB officials said.

To avoid becoming a victim, the BBB suggests that LinkedIn users should:

— Only add someone you know or have checked out;

— Remember legitimate recruiters will not ask you to pay for a job;

— Be wary of work-at-home jobs;

— Research the recruiter’s photo to make sure it’s not a generic photo from the Internet;

— Insist on calling the recruiter. Reluctance to accept a phone call or refusal to give out a phone number are red flags.