Online Safety

Is there such a thing anymore? Last year, several of my social media and bank accounts were part of a company system being hacked. This resulted in compromising my information, one that I am not happy about. I’m sure many of you can relate and if not, you are one lucky person. The question at hand is how do you keep your information safe when your job requires being online 24/7?

Recently, I was online looking for remote jobs and got a response from a company stating that I had an interview with them. The recruiter, after googling, was legit. She existed, per LinkedIn profile and a company information. I was very much interested in the company so, you can imagine how excited I was for the interview.

During the interview, everything went smoothly and at the end, I was hired on the spot. There was nothing that seemed off or questionable throughout the whole process. The recruiter had requested for my basic information and I provided my ID card as it is a standard process in the U.S. when going through the on-boarding. The only part that threw me off was at the end when the recruiter said the company would pay for equipments for me to use and that they will send me a check in the next few days. In my mind, I was thinking wow, is this something new that companies are doing now or am I imaging it? I figured, what do I have to loose if they send me a check? It doesn’t mean I need to take it. Therefore, I agreed for them to send me one.

Two days later, the check arrived. I opened the Fedex mail and was stunned when I found out that the check was 6 grand. I knew right away that there was something very wrong with this picture. On top of that, the check had a name of a gentleman located in my area, mind you the company was located in another state. Right.

I confronted the recruiter/scammer and demanded a written letter from the company with a signature stating that this is, indeed, a real check and not fraud. No answer. The next day, the scammer responded that it is a legit check but, failed over and over again to provide the necessary documents I requested. I’ll spare you the details but, the conversation ended with me threatening to report them to the police. It didn’t help one bit. I suppose these scam artists are desperate for money and they will do what it takes for you to fall for their schemes. I signed off.

I was angry and frustrated, mostly angry towards myself for falling to their tricks. I decided to reach out to the recruiter on LinkedIn, which I should’ve done to begin with and asked her to confirm whether she had been the one I’ve been talking to online. She responded no. It turns out, several people have reached out to her a few times claiming that someone else is using her name to scam them. Unbelievable!

The end to the story is that I did report this to the police. I found out from them that this is a common scam story that they hear about all the time…..apparently, I’m the only one who didn’t get the memo.

How do you keep your information safe online? Any tips/suggestions?

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