What HR Departments Should Know About Fake Interview Candidate Scams

HR departments that aren’t familiar with fake interview candidate scams are at serious risk of falling for one. Not only do these scams waste your time, they allow grifters to obtain confidential business, customer and employee information.

To successfully attract, interview, and hire top talent, you need to understand more about fake interview candidate scams, how they work and how to protect your company from them.

What Is a Fake Interview Candidate Scam?

A fake interview candidate scam is when someone assumes a false identity through the hiring process, particularly in interviews. The recent increase in remote work has made these scams more prevalent; after all, it’s much easier to pretend to be someone else online than it is in person. Even in a video interview, scammers can use technology like deep fakes to manipulate the visuals and audio to make it seem like you’re talking to a real person.

There are several ways to perpetrate this kind of scam. For instance, someone could give fake interview candidates the answer to questions via an earpiece or headset during the meeting. One person could complete the interviews, while someone else entirely shows up for the job after getting hired.

Some fraudsters are simply looking to secure a job. However, others may be seeking private company, customer or employee information from interviewers instead.

Though this kind of theft can happen in a variety of ways, one of the more common methods is camera hacking. When you engage in the remote interview, a sophisticated scammer could access and activate your webcam without your permission to spy on you and your company through the camera.

The consequences of a scam or the theft of sensitive company information can be incredibly detrimental to your organization. This is why it’s crucial to learn how to spot fake candidates as early in the hiring process as possible.

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How To Spot a Fake Candidate

One of the best ways to spot a scammer is to see them. Even if you can’t interview a candidate in person, you should at the very least do a video interview. By seeing a person in real time, you can pick up on any visual cues that indicate something is off.

For example, if the candidate is looking to either side of their screen or surroundings more than at you, it could mean someone else is in the room with them and feeding them answers. Pay attention to how they speak — if their mouth and movements don’t match the words they’re speaking, this could be a red flag. If you ask them to share their screen or do something else spontaneously and they don’t respond, it may not be a real person.

Validating a candidate’s credentials and other information can also help you spot a scammer. Do thorough background checks and always check their references. Go through their social media and digital presence. Pay careful attention to all of the information you learn. If things are inconsistent or don’t seem to make sense, it could signify a fake candidate.

Make Your Company Less Vulnerable to Scams

In addition to learning the ins and outs of modern hiring scams, you should take additional steps to protect your organization and become less vulnerable to fake interview candidates. That way, you can ensure your efforts are spent finding and interviewing real people.

A detailed application process with measures in place to spot fake candidates is a good start. Be on the lookout for inconsistencies or outright falsehoods in their application materials. Listen to your intuition if something seems off — chances are, you’re likely right.

Recruiters should strive to only draw from a pool of candidates they know are real. Effective online networking can help you build this candidate base. Be strategic about who you’re building relationships with and engage with people to establish their authenticity.

Fake interview candidate scams can be highly damaging for businesses. Be sure to read up on how to identify them to ensure the company you’re hiring for doesn’t fall victim to these grifters.

Miles Oliver

Miles Oliver
Miles Oliver is an independent writer with a background in business and passion for tech, psychology, news and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He can be reached at moliverpages (at) gmail (dot) com.

Miles Oliver

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