Last week, the FBI warned that people interviewing for tech jobs using stolen identities — and even deepfake videos.
Specifically, on June 28, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported an increase in complaints about the use of stolen personal information — and even real-time deep-fake video technology during Zoom interviews — by some tech job candidates to misrepresent your work experience or lying about who is actually applying for the job.
The FBI said the increase in fake applicants is mainly in software development, database and other software-related jobs.
The good news is that the deepfake technology used for live interviews doesn’t work, according to the FBI. (Video tends to have audio lag, and other anomalies may reveal a fake.)
The bad news is that while the technology for live video spoofing is not yet developed, in the not-too-distant future, remote recruitment could be rife with AI-enabled digital spoofing.
In the past, deep fakes were less sophisticated, and completely remote conversations were rare.
But in a post-COVID-19 world, remote interviews have become mainstream, and deepfakes continue to improve every year.
Remote workers, digital nomads, remote consultants, and far-flung employees will increasingly interview, hire, and interact remotely via text, audio, and video.
All of this can be faked, rigged and automated with artificial intelligence in such a way that bad actors can work for companies and get paid as imposters.
In fact, more than half of all American employees hired since the first days of the pandemic in March 2020 have never met their colleagues in person. Green Building Elements survey.
Fake job applications have also recently become a method of state-sponsored cyberattacks. For example, in May, the US State and Treasury Departments and the FBI issued a joint statement warning that US companies were hiring North Korean IT workers.
sometimes, employees were in North Korea and lied about their whereabouts. In others, they lied about their identity.
Either way, according to the FBI, hiring the North Koreans is a violation of U.S. sanctions, which carries a fine of about $330,000 per violation.
In general, remote work, remote reality means hiring managers need to take extra precautions so you know exactly who you’re hiring.
Fraud cuts both ways
While fake job applicants are on the rise, so are fake companies pretending to be hiring.
And the Great Retrenchment means millions of employees are looking for remote jobs. Employment fraud has increased during the pandemicaccording to the Better Business Bureau.
Scammers target recruiters and try to force candidates to pay for application processing or try to steal their personal information.
(Indeed.com offers a good one a guide to avoiding employment fraud.)
Advice for the future: apply yourself!
The bottom line is that the future of work will involve a lot more remote workers, which means the risk of fraud increases significantly.
The best advice for companies is to proactively check the identity and applications of job candidates. Also, make sure you know who you’re hiring.
The same applies to job seekers. Beware of telecommuting tech job scams. Use Indeed’s tips to spot job ads that are nothing more than scams.
Remote hiring and telecommuting can help both companies and employees. But with these benefits comes increased risk and a new imperative to check and double-check who exactly is on the other side of the job application process.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.