I received this email about a “job” that on first glance appears to be from CareerBuilder. However, red flags always go up when I receive an email about a job and upon closer investigation, I can say this email is a scam or possibly worse, a way to hijack your computer. Here’s why:
1) It’s to “undisclosed recipients”. This means it’s bulk mailed to thousands of people. No company is going to bulk mail thousands of people with a job offer or announcement.
2) What is a secret consumer? I’m guessing it’s mystery shopping, but the fact that it doesn’t use that term suggests to me that this email isn’t from the United States.
3) It has an attachment. Always be suspicious of attachments, even from people and companies you know unless you’re expecting it. Obviously I didn’t open the attachment, but I suspect it’s some sort of script to hijack my machine and/or get access to information that would allow identity theft.
4) Although the email says from “email@example.com”, taking a look at the email headers, we can can that CareerBuilder’s email is being spoofed.
Tracing the IP address of 188.8.131.52, I find that it’s located in Germany. And if you look at the bottom, it says that “184.108.40.206 is not allowed to send mail from careerbuilder.com.” Plus you’ll see that it passed through a variety of servers (127.0.0.1 is in Sweden and 220.127.116.11 is in Germany). My email gets spoofed all the time, which makes me crazy! Scammers use well-known names (i.e. CareerBuilder, The Red Cross, etc) in hopes you’ll be tricked into a false sense of security. After all, you trust these companies.
What’s important for you to understand and remember is that the odds of you getting a legitimate job offer or announcement in your email is practically nil. It’s so unlikely that you should be suspicious of any email about a job you get. Employers don’t have to send out bulk email or search job databases to find employees because they’re already inundated with applications. If you get an email from CareerBuilder or any other job site, log into your account to get information (don’t click on links in these types of email either). Even then, be careful as scammers will contact you through job search sites.
The only time you should consider an email about a job is from an employer you applied to. That email should be directed specifically to you by name and be clear that it’s related to a specific job you applied to. Any time you apply to a job, keep a list of the name and job title so you can refer to it to make sure the email is legitimate.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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