How to Spot a Job Offer Scam

Job scam detail

It recently came to our attention that someone has been using our company name as part of a job scam. While we’re not entirely sure what they expect to get out of scamming people with a fake job offer, we can share with you an anatomy of a job offer scam that affected us.

First, here is a version of the scam email that was sent to people claiming to be from Art+Logic:

Job Scam Letter Example

There are several clues in this email that should immediately set off alarm bells for the recipient. First, the email address that is used, artpluslogiccareers20@gmail.com, is typical example of the false email addresses that scammers use. We are a software development firm with our own URL, we would never use a generic gmail address for any company business. This email address has already been reported to Google, so it is possible that the scammer is already using a different gmail.com address.

Next, in the emails used for this scam, the senders refer to the company as Art & Logic. While that is technically not false, we changed our company name to Art+Logic a few years ago. If you receive an email offering you a job, and something just doesn’t feel right about it, look for the possible inaccuracies in how the company is referenced. Even the smallest discrepancy could be an indicator of a scam.

The details in the summary for the job seem to come from other listings that one can find online and they seem to have just cut and paste them into the email. If you look at them carefully, however, you’ll see that they refer more to tasks one would have at a graphic design company, not at a software development firm. There were other emails sent out to people that did something similar with a fake offer for an animator position.

The About Us section looks like it was just pulled verbatim from our website, which is probably why it gets our name right the second time.

Then we arrive at the strangest part of the email, the section that should immediately make it obvious that this offer is a scam, the How to Apply section. We would never use a service like Telegram as part of a job application process. I’m skeptical that any legitimate company would ask a job applicant to contact them via anything other than a company email address or phone number. It would be very odd for an established company to use an app or web-based account that’s easy to create anonymously and that does not use the company name or that directs someone to an easily anonymized phone number.

Apparently, these scammers will even go so far as interviewing people and then asking them to do some work — but then disappear once it comes time to pay for the work. In similar scams, they have also requested that potential applicants submit a payment for a background check. Most legitimate companies, like Art+Logic, would never ask a job candidate to pay for any part of the interview/job application process.

We encourage anyone who receives a scam job offer to file a complaint with the FTC, submit a report to the Anti Phishing Working Group, and also notify Google.

Fortunately, many people who received this type of email notified us immediately and did not fall for the scam.

J. Carlos Perez

J. Carlos Perez

Carlos is Director of Marketing at Art+Logic. He received his BA in the College of Letters from Wesleyan University and then attended graduate school at U.C. Berkeley, where he was a medievalist. After stepping off the academic path, Carlos began working for a tech startup in New York and went on to specialize in SEO, online copywriting, Wordpress, AdWords, and social media. He likes to be outside.

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