There are many circumstances in which we reveal a lot of personal information that we take for granted. One of these circumstances is applying for a new job. Recently, the FTC has gone after fake military recruitment sites that harvest personal information to sell for profit.
Don’t just give out your contact information, even if the website looks legit.
Fake military recruitment sites do just that, and unscrupulous companies that profit from selling personal information to marketing agencies and colleges as “leads” do just that. What better way to catch targets off guard and coax them into handing over personal information than offering a job.
Fake military recruitment sites have recently come under scrutiny from the FTC, which filed a complaint against one of these companies with penalties totaling over $12 million.
Here’s how it works:
A website that appears to be a military recruitment site is set up and advertisements are put in front of those looking into military careers via professional classifieds sites and resources, and by working with search engine optimization to rank high on searches like “military career” or “jobs in the Navy.”
If you look closely at these websites you will see that even though they use military jargon and feature images of military officers, they never claim to actually be an official military site.
Once a “target” finds the site, they are asked to enter personal identifying information to receive more information or to apply.
Work history, educational history, contact information, references, even physical addresses and social security numbers are freely given out.
Once this valuable information is harvested, the owners of these sites sell this information to marketing agencies and to colleges as leads. Each lead can sell for as much as $40 a piece. The target often then receives a follow-up phone call from the site itself. Many of the phone numbers on the list of harvested leads are on the National Do Not Call Registry, which is part of the reason the FTC filed a complaint against one of the more prolific fake military recruitment sites.
The caller will attempt to collect more personal information and will sometimes inform the recruit that more education is advised before enlisting, then recommend a school that bought the lead of the recruit on the other end of the line.
Is this a phishing scam?
In some ways, yes. A fake website is set up to resemble a legitimate website with the intention of collecting personal information. It is shady and immoral, but it could be much worse. BUT that’s because the bar has been set so low.
If you or someone you know is interested in a military career, make sure the inquiry and application process is done through the OFFICIAL WEBSITE. Don’t just use search engines, go to the actual site. If you are unsure of a military recruitment site’s legitimacy, take a closer look. Fake sites will not actually purport to be the official military’s site.
If you have any doubts, contact me at Mignolet@Bellsouth.net to dig deeper into the truth behind the URL.
For more than three decades Jean Mignolet has served in law enforcement and private investigation, managing all aspects of general investigative business. She specializes in in-depth background investigations and is the top choice of attorneys, corporations, small business owners and individuals who require investigative services.
Contact us at: Mignolet@Bellsouth.net
or call us at: 954-523-8737 or 954-336-9363
For further information: Visit our Website Mignolet.com