New wave of fake job scams sweeping across Switzerland, authorities warn
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned of a significant rise in the number of fake ads for jobs in Switzerland and abroad. The scammers use extremely high salaries and the identities of international companies and their workers to lure in victims.
Reports of fake jobs on the rise in Switzerland
In a statement given to 20 Minuten, the NCRC said that it has “received increasing alerts about fake job offers in recent weeks.” The government organisation added that they have had to create a separate category of scam on their database after 100 such cases were reported to them in just a few weeks.
The scam occurs via mobile phone, with scammers using WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook Messenger to send victims extremely lucrative job offers in an attempt to steal personal or financial information. Scammers typically pose as real employees of major international companies in order to lure people in.
Scammers steal the identity of Swiss recruitment agents
The scammers also use the names of well-known recruitment agents, with Marc Trillou, director of the recruitment platform TieTalent, noting that they received "several dozen reports informing us that people were pretending to be us. Photos of employees were even used to create fake Facebook accounts.” He has since launched a complaint over the identity theft.
Out of curiosity, when Trillou himself was targeted, he played along and was soon offered a job. “I had to boost products online. For one or two hours of work per day, the monthly salary was enormous! Between 6.000 and 9.000 dollars! It was possible to work from anywhere with flexible hours,” he noted. He added that he thought the scammers were using the higher cost of living to tempt people into falling for the scam.
Scammers likely exploiting Swiss cost of living
Patrick Ghion, head of cybersecurity at the Swiss police in Canton Geneva, agreed that criminals were indeed using the “emotional side”. “ Easy money, a little under the table, can be attractive given the current context.”
He added that, unlike scams where the elderly are targeted, fake job ads are likely to impact young people the most. “They grew up with these networks and have been immersed in them forever. For them, it is less shocking to receive such messages on these channels. Since they don’t realise the danger, they may be interested in the opportunity”, he explained.
As with most scams, Ghion said it is best “not to answer and block the number” and if a message reads too good to be true, it probably is. If you would like to report a scam to the police, please visit the official website.