Research by NordVPN found that employment scams reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have dropped by 5% in 2020 despite the increased unemployment rates. However, bad actors got more creative, targeting people through WhatsApp.
Those who fell for the scams reported being asked to pay for submitting their CV, while some were tricked into thinking that the company needed a short-term loan despite hiring on an hourly-rate basis. Losses range from $46.95 to $5,000.
Why have employment scams been less successful during the lockdown?
As the number of job vacancies have been growing, bad actors started competing with the actual employers for attention. This has made them look for more creative ways to exploit their victims and to turn to messaging apps. One of the ways for the bad actors to acquire the phone numbers of potential victims is to dig through the exposed databases. This year alone NordPass researchers have discovered 10 billion exposed data entries in the dark web. Those included all types of personal information: from emails and passwords to phone numbers.
“People received up to 400% more suspicious emails containing malicious files. This really got their attention and made them more careful,” says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
Therefore NordVPN saw it immensely important to provide the tools for its customers to be aware of their data being leaked by online service providers. Dark Web Monitor became such a tool, it continuously scans the dark web for NordVPN’s subscriber’s data and alerts them once the leak is registered. One can be sure that their personal data has been leaked at least once in their lifetime.
Quick scam-proofing algorithm:
- Be more cautious with new people who contact you. Scammers tend to first express their fascination with the targeted person and later ask them for money to pay for a CV submission, help to solve life-threatening debts, or cover expenses on a visa and document processing.
- Reputable employers won’t be resisting face-to-face interviews, bad actors – would. If a future employer is reluctant to set a video interview, it’s the red flag.
- Additionally, nobody should be asking for your credit card details or other sensitive personal data to initiate the recruitment process. If asked, run and never return.
- Check if the email address you are using has been leaked, for a continuous check, turn on the Dark Web Monitor on NordVPN App. If your email has been leaked, change the password immediately. Create a new email address unrelated to the compromised one.
- Set your VPN settings to “always on”. That way, it will establish a secure connection every time you go online. This will help protect you from eavesdropping and might make malicious adware invisible.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.