Job scams surged in 2023, including on legitimate job sites

Job scams surged 118% in 2023, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center - Image by ConsumerAffairs

The Identity Theft Resource Center also found a rise in Google Voice scams

Scammers stayed busy last year. The Identity Theft Resouce Center reports there was a 118% increase in job scams in 2023.

Job scams were primarily carried out through websites, typically LinkedIn or job search platforms. In most cases, scammers were after personal information, such as Social Security numbers. In some instances, they also tried to convince victims to pay for “training” or business materials.

A rise in Google Voice scams

While down by 16 percentage points compared to 2022, ITRC said Google Voice scams remained the top scam category of complaints it received. Google Voice scams were mostly carried out through Facebook and other social media platforms.

Scammers typically target individuals selling products in an online marketplace. They pose as interested buyers and sellers but are trying to steal your personal information to create a fake Google Voice account in your name.

The criminals try to convince their targets to share their Google verification code. With the code, they use a legitimate U.S.-based phone number to get a U.S. number through Google Voice to make it look like they are calling from the U.S.

ITRC said one of the many twists it has seen includes identity criminals using animals and rent posts to get Google verification codes. The ITRC has received reports of people selling puppies, looking for lost pets and renting out rooms getting calls asking to provide the Google Voice verification code to prove they are legitimate.

Scammers have stepped up their game

“The latest information gleaned from speaking with victims, as well as data from our other reports, shows an environment where identity criminals are more effective, efficient and successful in launching attacks,” said ITRC CEO said Eva Velasquez. “The result is fewer victims reporting these crimes. However, the impact on people and businesses is arguably more damaging at a time when there are too many identity crime victims and too few resources to help them.”

To that point, the report notes that overall reports of scams to the ITRC decreased by 18 percentage points in 2023 from the prior year. But with new scams emerging daily, it’s unlikely that there were fewer scam attempts last year.

Take an Identity Theft Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.