India is witnessing a sharp rise in phishing attacks. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the rising unemployment rate to fraud people by offering lucrative job prospects in dream companies and institutions every day. According to a report by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) in December 2020, India’s unemployment rate rose sharply to 9.1 percent.
Even after the reports of economic recovery, there is very less job generation, leading to people getting in traps of fraudsters. Digitalization has undoubtedly made people's life easier but, on the contrary, it has also become one of the best ways of cheating.
A scamster generally creates a fake email address similar to any of the prominent companies or institutions and sends an employment offer email to the target. People who are genuinely in need of a job feel the offer is genuine and get trapped.
To make it look more realistic, scamsters also create fake websites referring to the organisations and send the link of the same with the mail. Clicking upon the links, it makes it very difficult to differentiate if it's real or not.
People falling prey to the fraudsters give all the important or crucial personal details when asked by them for the sake of job. The details include usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc.
What is a phishing attack?
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to get access to sensitive personal data of individuals by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. The information collected by the target is used to cheat them mainly in exchange of financial gains.
How to avoid falling prey to such potential scams?
1. Verify the email address
Electronic mails are one of the most common ways to cheat by creating fake e-mail id's of any prominent company. Therefore, whenever you receive any email about a job opportunity, verify its origin.
To do so, you can visit the official website of the company to check its common email addresses in the 'contact us' section. You can also give a call to the number provided in the website to crosscheck. If the email is sent by a personal email address, ask for that person's name after calling at the official number of the organisation.
2. Use LinkedIn to cross check the person's identity
As stated earlier, if you receive a job offer from a personal email address, you can look for that person's LinkedIn account. You can also look for the company's profile there. If there is genuinely a vacancy, you will get to know.
3. Analyse the job offer
Try to analyse the offer letter. If it is fake, it would most probably offer a very good position and good hike in your salary, maybe more than what you can think of. Also, see the criteria for shortlisting you. Any good company won't give you an offer without 2 or 3 rounds of interviews and tests.
4. Google for the company and take feedback
You always have an option to google anything you want. Search the internet for the company and its reviews.
5. Don't provide your personal details until verified
Do not make the mistake of providing crucial information until and unless you are completely sure of the company and have verified it.Doing so without any research can lead you to very dangerous situations.
6. Don't pay for the job roles
No company will ask for money in return of jobs. So whenever you get such a call or letter or message, get alert.