Job Scams Surged 118% In 2023 Due To AI: Watchdog Group

FILE - This Monday, Aug. 1, 2016 file photo shows the humanoid robot "Alter" on display at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Understanding humor may be one of the last things that separates humans from ever smarter machines, computer scientists and linguists say. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) found that reports of job scams increased by 118% in 2023 compared to the prior year. That occurred even as the number of overall scams reported to the ITRC fell by 18%.

Identity thieves are improving at looking and sounding ‘legitimate,’ thanks in part to generative artificial intelligence, especially when it comes to job postings,” the ITRC wrote.

“In 2023 and continuing into early 2024, we saw an increase in identity thieves creating phony job postings on legitimate networking and job search sites, enticing victims to apply for jobs,” ITRC said.

The watchdog group explained that scammers created profiles on LinkedIn and job sites that appeared professional, as well as functioning websites for phony businesses – or impersonated legitimate companies using a fake name to set up interviews.

Once a victim believes they’ve booked a legitimate interview with the scammers, the interview process “was moved off of the original platform to email, text, video conferencing, or a third-party messaging app” and the would-be applicant was told they needed to fill out paperwork and provide proof of identity.

ITRC noted that providing sensitive personal information for identity verification purposes, like a driver’s license, or proof of the ability to work in the U.S. with a Social Security number and direct deposit information is often part of the onboarding process at a new job, so victims felt secure in sharing that information with the scammer.

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