On Your Side Alert: Woman warns of scammers in online job search

On Your Side Alert: Woman warns of scammers in online job search

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) - If you're looking for a job right now, be aware of a scam on a popular job search website.

A Chester woman says someone was trying to scam her on Indeed.com while she looked for honest work. She says if she hadn't realized what was happening, she could have really been compromised.

Ginger Birkner has made finding a job her full-time job since her employer had to let her go. Like so many people do, she turned to the internet to help accelerate her search and posted her resume on Indeed.com.

Almost immediately she got a call.

Within in hours she got a note about an interview from "Tasha Smith," but then things took a suspicious turn.

"What it turned out to be was an interview on Google hangout with a Jamie Johnson," said Birkner.

Birkner, naturally suspicious, documented every exchange.

"Here's the screen shots of the texts and the phone numbers where they called," said Birkner.

She said this interview was especially odd because it was a text exchange.

"We will need to run a background check on you so we'll need your Social Security number and your bank account number so we can pay you next Friday," said Birkner.

She started searching the numbers and says she discovered this was a scam.

We did our own research and called Tasha multiple times. She never answered.

NBC12 also emailed Jamie, but the email bounced.

Indeed.com warns about this very problem on its site.

They say "Indeed does not request personal information, financial information, account numbers, bank account numbers..."

"This one is just the worst," said Birkner, "because they're taking advantage of young people diligently searching for jobs and … posting their information out there in good faith on Indeed. They could be me, and they could go in and do whatever they want and no one would ever know that they're not me. And then they can search me on Facebook. Find my pictures, find my son or someone could literally come and kill me."

Here's the takeaway and red flags to watch for your safety:

  • The immediate response.
  • The text message interview.
  • A request for banking and personal information.

"I immediately called my bank and disconnected all of those things that had been that way for 20 years," said Birkner.

And that was a smart call. Even though Birkner did give away some information, she immediately realized her mistake and responded to protect herself.

Click here for more information from Indeed was watching out for fraudulent emails and click here for more guidelines for safely searching for a job.

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