Job application scam circulates over the holiday season

06 Nov
November 6, 2018

Emails consisting of fake job applications are the newest scam trend this holiday season.

Casual or temporary roles are increasingly on demand over the holiday season, and as businesses seek staff, a new scam targeting HR professionals has surfaced – emails directed towards employers, which contain fake resumes able to infect computers.

Different sender names and subject lines are being used, with MailGuard saying it has intercepted a “large run” of the emails over the last few weeks.

In the emails’ contents, the sender generally writes that they are interested in a position and that their resume can be accessed by means of a password. Entering this password will then install malicious software.

Scams planned around the holiday season are not uncommon – in fact, they are usually targeting workers who are presumed busy and will have less time to pay close attention to the email context.

Cyber security expert and chief executive of the International Cyber Resilience Institute, Andrew Bycroft, told SmartCompany: “They know when we are likely to let down our guard because we are simply too busy and take shortcuts because of time pressures.

“With the holiday season fast approaching, many retailers, for example, are looking for casual workers to address the busy shopping period and extended shopping hours and could fall victim to ‘job application response’ scams.”

Bycroft advises that businesses are to invest in antispam protection.

“Communicate to the entire company to pause and think at this time of year. Be extra vigilant. There are lots of scams and though this may be the time for giving, you don’t want to be giving to cybercriminals,” he says.

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