Scammers impersonate domestic violence shelter in fake job postings

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — A shelter for survivors of domestic violence found itself at the center of a fake job posting, the second time scammers targeted the non-profit in less than a year.

If those scammers thought impersonating Turning Point Domestic Violence Services would work, President Lisa Shafran had something to say about it.

“They didn’t do their homework really well,” Shafran said.

More than 20 people contacted the shelter about the fake jobs, which were posted to major online job sites as office manager and financial positions. Turning Point had no open positions at all and rarely hires for those types of jobs, according to Shafran.

“To put people through a situation that gives them some degree of false hope, that’s going to end up really hurting them … I find that incredibly disturbing,” Shafran said.

In an email provided by Shafran, scammers told job seekers that they needed to download the messaging app Telegram for a job interview. However, the email did not list Turning Point, rather a generic “residential healthcare group” and the HR Manager listed was not a Turning Point employee.

Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana CEO Tim Maniscalo said legitimate companies should not ask you to correspond via text or a messaging app like Telegram.

“That is a real red flag,” Maniscalo said.

Maniscalo believes the scammers were likely looking for money or information from applicants.

“(They) are wanting to get your personal information, in particular they’re looking for your social security number,” Maniscalo said.

Shafran quickly reported the job postings to Indeed, which helped to remove them from multiple job search websites. She also reported the scam to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, which recently sent an alert to residents.

Late last year, Turning Point also learned about scammers sending fake checks to people across the country bearing the organization’s old bank account information. Shafran said she could not confirm whether the two scams were related, but hoped to get the word out to as many people as possible to watch out for scams using local organizations’ information.

“I really am thankful for and celebrate the people that picked up the phone and called us,” Shafran said. “I think if we have more of that, we may someday be able to eradicate these types of things.”

For more information about online job scams and ways to spot them, click on the link here.

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