Beware of this elaborate scam targeting Behance users
If you’re using Adobe’s excellent platform Behance, beware – there’s an elaborate scam going around. It targets Behance users, involving people posing as recruiters for Waymo, an autonomous driving tech company. These fake recruiters conduct what appear to be legitimate job interviews via Skype and offer high-paying roles in design. But as it usually goes with scams – there’s a catch… A costly one.
What does the scam look like?
A Reddit user Impressive-Fox-6719 was a target of this scam. They describe what it looks like in a post, wanting to warn the others. First, someone will find you on Behance, but reach out to you off the platform, via email. “They are currently impersonating [a] real recruiter at Waymo (her name is Barbara) but are using a false email like this email@example.com which is not a real Waymo email,” the Redditor writes. They will offer you a high-paying 3D Artist job at the company and invite you to “a text-based chat-style interview on Skype.”
“After you waste a lot of time answering their interview questions they will come back to you the following day and congratulate you for joining the company,” the user writes further. “They have prepared a very convincing Waymo branded 10-page PDF packet that appears legitimate.” And now it gets tricky. Scammers will ask for some forms of identification and even request you fill out a tax form, including your social security number.
After all this, they will ask you to start setting up your home office – but you need to buy the equipment for yourself. “They generate a real check for approximately $4000 USD for which you will mobile deposit into your checking account,” the Redditor explains.” They will ask you to confirm the deposit and immediately send funds to another random person via Zelle. This is a common check fraud strategy.”
Adobe and Waymo’s reactions
According to The Verge, Adobe and Waymo are aware of the scam. They’re both taking measures to warn users and work with cybersecurity experts to address the issue. “Waymo has language on our website, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor informing candidates that interviews are conducted either in person or over video conferencing and never over email, Telegram, or other platforms,” Waymo spokesperson Katherine Barna told The Verge. “We also work with cybercrime experts and alert anti-fraud departments for career sites when we learn about scam accounts, with a goal of getting them removed as quickly as possible.”
“Behance has a number of measures in place to prevent spam and phishing attempts on Behance and routinely flags accounts that violate our terms. Additionally, our users have the ability to report scam messaging directly from their Behance inbox,” Adobe VP Matthew Smith told The Verge. “We’ve informed customers that if someone is asking to communicate off-platform, especially in another social media site, it may be a scam.”
How to protect yourself from scams
This issue underscores, once again, the importance of being vigilant in the digital space. Even if the offer seems legitimate, it’s crucial to verify the recruiter’s identity and be cautious before sharing personal information or making any financial transactions.
So, how can you protect yourself? Here are some good practices:
- Be aware: First of all, be aware that scams like this exist. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Look for red flags: I’d say that this is the next step after being aware of scams. When you get an offer, look for red flags. In this particular case, they may be a little difficult to spot at first, but there are a few. First, the email address isn’t legit (even though it may appear to be at first). Even if it seems real, you can check it by visiting the company’s official website. Next, the text-based interview is also pretty sketchy, in my opinion. Finally, the company asking you to buy equipment yourself to start working… This just screams, “Run!”
- Verify the identity: Always verify the recruiter’s identity through multiple channels, such as checking the email address, LinkedIn profile, or even directly contacting the company’s HR department.
- Say no to upfront payments: Be skeptical of any job offers that require you to pay money upfront, especially via methods like wire transfers or digital payment apps like Zelle.
- No personal info: Never share sensitive personal information like your Social Security number or bank account details unless you’re 100% certain of the legitimacy of the job offer and the recruiter.
- Official guidelines: Check the company’s official guidelines for recruitment. For instance, as mentioned, Waymo states explicitly that they do not conduct interviews via email, Telegram, or other similar platforms.
- Report suspicious activity: If you come across any suspicious activity, report it to the platform and potentially to the authorities to help prevent others from becoming victims.
Last but not least, I’ll remind you of what I often say – listen to your gut! Even if everything seems legit, if your intuition tells you something’s wrong, it’s worth exploring further. Trust me, it’s never wrong. Stay safe and spread the word to help protect the others.
[via The Verge]
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.