Crooks Targeting People Seeking Jobs in Accounting

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If you haven’t had your fill of cybersecurity scam alerts yet, here’s a doozy: Crooks are targeting people seeking jobs in accounting.

The scammers are impersonating recruiters at accounting firms and, naturally, trying to get applicants’ personal information, including bank accounts and possibly cash payments, warns the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

The original alert apparently came from accounting firm UHY LLP, which has16 locations nationwide. Rick David, chief operating officer for UHY Advisors Inc., reportedly alerted the AICPA and other accounting firms about the scam.

Impostors are telling applicants to sign an acceptance letter and provide personal and banking information. The lure includes a cash payment so that applicants could be led on to believe that they will be reimbursed for materials required in starting their new job.

UHY LLP posted the following tips and alert on its website:

  • The firm doesn’t conduct online interviews using Google Hangouts.
  • Interviews aren’t done via text.
  • Video interviews sometimes are done via Skype, but the firm won’t hire anyone who hasn’t done at least one in-person interview.
  • The firm doesn’t request reimbursable funds from applicants to be used to buy job-related equipment and doesn’t issue checks to applicants.
  • Applicants should protect their personal information and refrain from giving out Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers and other similar information to unverified people.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers advertise where legitimate employers and job placement firms do: online, in newspapers, and even on TV and radio. They also can be upbeat about job possibilities, and most ask for payment for their services before applicants actually get a job.

“If you have to pay for the promise [of a job], it’s likely a scam,” the FTC warns.

A website has been set up for people to complain about being targeted by these job scams.

The FTC offers these seven tips about job-placement scams:

  • Applicants shouldn’t be asked to pay for the promise of a job.
  • Credit card or bank account information shouldn’t be requested.
  • There’s no such thing as previously undisclosed federal government jobs. Those positions are made public at usajobs.gov.
  • Check out job-placement firms by actually checking with the company that’s hiring.
  • Get details about job placement in writing: who pays for the service, what it costs and what happens if no job materializes.
  • Know the difference between job placement and job counseling. The latter can cost thousands of dollars and job placement isn’t guaranteed.
  • Check for complaints against the company with local consumer protection agencies, the Better Business Bureau, or state Attorney General’s office.

About Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.

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