Scamming with fake recruiters is exploding

Vacancy fraud, recruitment fraud, fake recruiters, fake applicants, fake vacancies, job fraud… The job market, particularly vacancies and CV databases, are currently witnessing an explosion of scamming, phishing, spoofing, and identity theft.

ToTalent on June 07, 2024 Average reading time: 2 min
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Scamming with fake recruiters is exploding

In 2023, scamming with fake job postings and fake recruiters was already the most common form of fraud. With the advent of AI and LLM, this form of deception exploded in 2024, as criminals can easily approach tens of thousands of people simultaneously if they have access to personal data related to the job market. This includes CV databases from websites like, LinkedIn, and Indeed. CVs and social media profiles such as LinkedIn are an unprecedented, large, legitimate, and public source for identity fraud and scamming.

All major employers and agencies, from Kelly Services to Randstad, are now issuing warnings about this. It’s not just dozens, but now hundreds of thousands of companies and recruiters worldwide dealing with this issue. It puts immense pressure on the recruitment industry to quickly protect candidates who make their CVs available via CV databases, including anonymizing CVs and allowing only validated employers and agencies restricted access to CV databases.

Extremely concerning development

Fake job postings from fake companies can be prevented by only using recruitment sites that take responsibility for the authenticity of companies and vacancies posted (supply chain responsibility). They should provide job seekers with a guarantee of the reliability of the companies and vacancies. This is a practice that has been common in Asia for years, such as with Fastjobs. Free job boards and aggregators have a significant chance of spreading fake job postings, and they too should take on this responsibility. This step would significantly pressure their business model but make the job market much safer.

The fact that fraud, integrity, security, and risk management are now top priorities for the industry is evident from LinkedIn’s abrupt introduction of “recruiter verification” with little explanation. So far, it’s not a very well-thought-out way to ensure the “authenticity” of recruiter profiles. It’s a feature in recruiter profiles that was launched out of nowhere two months ago. Perhaps prompted by the fact that LinkedIn itself has been hacked, including by a party that managed to create 400,000 fake profiles on LinkedIn by the end of 2023.

Voice cloning

In the next 12 to 18 months, AI will not only revolutionize the recruitment industry but also the profession of recruitment and HR in unprecedented ways. However, not in the way we recently thought, such as with the use of ChatGPT or AIapply. Criminals are using the job market as a gold mine to defraud people. They will use information from CVs, ATS systems, HR systems, and CV databases, with or without voice cloning and deepfake, to exploit other forms of fraud.

It’s not unlikely that very strict guidelines will be introduced in the short term for CV databases, recruiters, job boards, (recruitment) agencies, and the like to protect the privacy of users, both employers and employees. It seems wise for the job board industry, ABU, Bovib, and NBBU to take swift action in the very short term to protect their business model. What we’re seeing and knowing now is just the tip of the iceberg…

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