Fake job listings cause chaos amidst pandemic unemployment – what you should watch out for

In Your Corner

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After losing his job at the pandemic’s start, a local man spent a year searching for employment in his field. While he thought he’d found the perfect job, he instead potentially lost his identity, and very nearly thousands of dollars.

Now, he’s hoping others hear his cautionary tale.

It has been a tough year for Nathan Slusher.

A chemist by trade in qualitative analysis, he’s sought a job in his field by any means necessary.

He’s picked up jobs along the way, hoping to make ends meet.

“I started Door Dashing last year just to help tie things together,” said Nathan. “I’ve used Zip Recruiter, I’ve used Indeed, if there’s a job board out there I’ve used it.”

So imagine Nathan’s excitement when medical device company, Medtronic reached out to him looking for employment in customer service.

“Especially with the pay they were offering, like $28 an hour, for someone who hasn’t had a job in so long that was like manna from heaven,” he explained.

It seemed fairly straightforward at first – with a realistic looking offer sheet and job application.

But the entire process, interview and all, was done through text and messaging apps, and his would-be employers began requesting more and more.

“I gave them my driver’s license and my social security card, and all my personal information, even my banking information,” said Nathan. “They wanted me to buy office equipment — They wanted my Verizon account number and password — They tried to get me to buy three iPhones.”

Becoming wary of his dream job, Nathan contacted the actual Medtronic.

Much to his dismay, he found the company knew nothing of what was going on.

“[They said] It wasn’t real. Wasn’t a real job, let me know I had just sent all my information out to a complete stranger,” said Nathan. “I was decimated, cause I really thought after a year and a half I had a job, that I’d be able to provide again, and now I’m back to square one.”

Nathan is not the first, though.

Medtronic has recently posted a notice for folks on their website warning of this very scam.

Don Morris, with the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, knows how hard this last year has been.

“I’ve heard one stat that said we processed about 10 years’ worth of unemployment claims in a year,” he said. “On the side of our citizens, it’s a lot of pain and anguish.”

He’s urging Oklahomans to watch where they share their info.

He recommends sticking with more professional job sites, like Indeed, LinkedIn, Career Builder, or Glass Door.

The state’s site, OK Job Match, is an option as well.

“So there’s a free OK Job Match app, it can be downloaded, very simple app,” Don said. “It gets straight to the point. This is the job I’m looking for, this is my zip code. Go.”

He adds that there are instances where employers will contact job seekers first, but those are rare and often involve highly skilled positions such as registered nurses or engineers.

As for Nathan, there’s new fear over his identity and personal information.

He hopes others will see through such fraud.

“As a scientist, I tell people to double check,” said Nathan. “Always best to know you have the right answer the first time.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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