Today it seems like nobody is safe from identity theft. And these thieves are getting more innovative and more resourceful.
I recently talked with a dental assistant who “accepted” a position with a “company,” they went through a real interview process and even had a legitimate company website. However, she had already sent her w4 to them with her financial information when she realized it was a scam. Luckily, she was able to notify the credit reporting companies before they could open any lines of credit in her name.
DirectDental does everything we can to shut down these scammers when they post on our site, but sometimes they slip through. And they are posting on every job board. So, I am writing this post to arm you with the information you need to know to avoid falling for a scam job posting.
#1 If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
If you see a job posting for $40/hr, work from home, and all you need are DA certifications, it is most likely a scam, and you should err on the side of caution.
And if you see the use of dental jargon used incorrectly, that could also be a sign of a fraudulent job post.
#2 Unusual interview process
Virtual interviews are here to stay, but if it is a legitimate company, they will be using a common virtual meeting like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or even Facetime for an interview. Be cautious if they ask you to do the interview through an app you have never heard of before. They are usually using that app, so you can’t track their actual location, and if reported, law enforcement will struggle to track them too.
#3 Do you research
As mentioned earlier, identity thieves are making fake company websites look legitimate. But if you google the company and all you can find is a website, a few social media posts, and nothing else, it is most likely a scammer.
Another tell is if their website doesn’t show up on the first page of Google, it means the website hasn’t been around long enough for Google to trust them.
Also, Google the name of the person you are interviewing with. If you struggle to find some sort of online presence, that is definitely fishy.
#4 If they ask for an up-front investment – RUN
No company will ever ask you to send them gift cards or money orders for any reason. But, if they are slick enough to get past the first 3 tips we sent you, this one should be the ultimate breaking point. RUN!
#5 Follow your gut
If it feels fishy, it probably is. So if your gut is telling you not to proceed with an interview or a job offer, don’t. Our internal instincts are usually right, so listen to them.
Think you sent your info to a scammer?
If you completed the interview process and sent in your hiring paperwork like your i9 and w4, and now you don’t hear back from the company, it was, unfortunately, a scammer who got what they wanted… your financial information.
Now don’t panic. Follow these steps to keep your information secure.
Notify the credit bureaus.
Reach out to the credit bureaus and let them know your critical credit information has been stolen and you need them to close down your credit.
Here are the 3 major credit bureaus.
You only need to notify one of them, and they will inform the others.
Notify the Federal Trade Commission
You can do that here. And they will also create a recovery plan with you.
Notify your bank and credit card companies
If you send them any of your bank info or credit card information, notify those companies right away so they can stop any charges and issue new cards.
Monitor your credit closely to make sure nothing is opened in your name
Keep a close eye on your credit to ensure nothing is being opened up in your name. Once they have your information, they can use it for years. So invest in a credit monitoring company and ensure there are no lines of credit or large purchases made under your name.
Do you need to report to the police?
There, unfortunately, isn’t much they can or will do in regards to identity theft. But, if you know the actual identity of the individual who stole your information OR if the credit bureaus are requesting a police report, simply call your local station, and they will write one up for you.
How you can help
As I mentioned previously, DirectDental does everything we can to shut down these fraudulent job posts, but with thousands of jobs being posted, 1 or 2 may slip through. So if you come across any job postings that seem fraudulent, please email them to us right away at [email protected]. And we will shut them down immediately.
Please note – none of this is legal advice.
I am sad that I had to make this post. It is a shame that hard-working dental professionals seeking work have to be leary of these scammers and thieves. But I hope this post helps you fight back and keep your identity and credit safe.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!