Scammers use LinkedIn, Indeed to prey on job seekers

DENVER – LinkedIn is where people go looking for jobs, and Contact Denver7 is learning firsthand that it’s also where scammers go looking for victims.

“These scams are becoming more prevalent,” said Mike Kelley, chief security officer for Denver7 parent company Scripps. “People are working from home, so they expect more of these interviews to be conducted and not in person like we used to.”

Kelley said the scammers posed as Scripps’ chief administrative officer and messaged candidates through LinkedIn about jobs that don’t exist. But the interview process did not stop there.

“They actually went through a whole Skype interview process and went back and forth for a while,” Kelley said.

The job candidate, who did not wish to be identified to protect her privacy, said the scammers offered her the job and she accepted. However, when they sent her a check to pay for homework supplies, she grew suspicious.

“They wanted me to send money back through Zelle, and something didn’t seem right,” she said.

The Better Business Bureau reported a increase in job scams during the pandemic, frequently targeting people who want to work from home.

“They send you a check to buy this equipment, but they send you too much money and want a refund,” said Keylen Villagrana of BBB Great West and Pacific.

Villagrana explained that scammers often use job sites, such as LinkedIn and Indeed, to find unsuspecting victims.

“Or there’s also once you pass the interview, they ask for your bank account for direct deposit. When you’re on LinkedIn, you’re looking for a job, and recruiters are also common on LinkedIn. You’re in thinking, ‘Oh, it’s just a recruiter contacting me. So you’re not that suspicious,’ Villagrana said.

To protect yourself, check that the messages come from a company email and not from a free account, such as Gmail or Skype. Check the career section of the company’s website to see if a job really exists. Also watch for red flags, such as a very quick job offer and a request for your personal financial information early in the onboarding process.

Editor’s note: Denver7 is seeking advice and public input to help those in need, solve problems, and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need that our call center could address, or have an idea for a story for our team of investigators to pursue, please email us at or call (720) 462-7777. Find more stories from Contact Denver7 here.

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