Looking for a job? Look out for the resume-formatting scam

Photo (c) Bill Hinton - Getty Images

It's the newest wrinkle in the fake job scam

The “Great Resignation” is apparently over. Businesses and governments hired 253,000 people last month.

Scammers are trying to take advantage of that trend. They’re targeting jobseekers with something known as the resume-formatting scam.

Instead of casting a wide net, they specifically target people who are or may be looking for a job. They find someone on LinkedIn, read their profile, and contact them, pretending to be an employment agency or a headhunter.

The scammer tells the target that their profile and experience perfectly match a position they are trying to fill and asks for a resume. But when they receive the resume, the scammer says it needs to be in a different format to work with their tracking system.

The target is then directed to a website where there are instructions to rewrite the resume. The updated resume includes a lot of personal information that seems outside the norm. An of course, the target is required to pay a fee with a credit card.

Applicants soon learn that there is no job and they are the victim of a scam designed to steal some money and personal information. The scam is effective because the victim may actually be looking for a job and the requirement to “reformat” the resume might not seem suspicious, although the requirement to pay for the service should raise a red flag.

How to avoid this scam

The best way to avoid this scheme is to do a little research on your own. If the scammer won’t tell you the name of the company or what the position is, that should be a turn-off. If they do name a company, go to the company’s website and check for job openings. If the job actually exists, contact the company’s human resources department directly.

Be careful about the personal information you provide. At the beginning of the hiring process, there is no need to provide a Social Security number or bank account information, for example. That comes after you have received an offer.

Also, never pay to apply for a job. That is a huge red flag and even an excuse like needing to reformat your resume should be seen for what it is – a scam.

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