The Dark Side of AI: Be on the Lookout for these Workplace Scams!

  • Savannah Higgins
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Few would argue that we’re living in exciting times, specifically as it relates to the evolution of AI technology and the resultant availability of seemingly unlimited knowledge at our fingertips.  Whether you’re looking to analyze large datasets in a snap, create a job description in the matter of a few keystrokes, or revamp your resume to make you more marketable, AI tools can offer incredible benefits for professional purposes. However, the same tool can come with inherent risks, whether it be tied to the confidentiality of that data or the usage of this technology for nefarious purposes.

Here are a few tips and warnings to keep you informed about how to avoid the dark side of AI in the workplace, including some of the most up-to-date AI scams:

  • Voice Recognition Scam – If you have ever uploaded a video or podcast of yourself and your voice, you could be a potential victim of this scam.  Scammers can use your voice patterns (or that of anyone) to create a viable clone of your voice and then reach out to family members or colleagues to engage in a live call or voicemail.  This voice will sound EXACTLY like you (or your boss, or your employee) and it will likely request information or routing of funds in some sort of emergency scenario. What’s even worse is that these calls may come from “spoofed numbers” and thus, will show up on your Caller ID as if coming from the trusted contact!
    • What to do: Always verify!  Call your contact back directly or contact them through other means as a gut check. Consider having a “code word” to verify validity of someone’s identity that is known only to yourself and the other party.
  • Job Offer Scam – The world of virtual work has become more popular and in higher demand than ever!  AI scammers can create an attractive fake job post in a matter of seconds and even design it specifically for you, hoping to get your attention, your information, and your money. One new scam involves a fake profile (or phone call) reaching out to you based upon your LinkedIn profile claiming that your profile “looks like a great fit” for a fully virtual career opportunity.  You could be provided with what appears to be a valid job description and/or company information (including logos and very realistic looking documentation). It MAY even involve a virtual interview!  Once you are offered the position, you will be asked to fill out a job application requiring your social security number and other personal information, which ultimately would make it possible for someone to steal your identity.  “The company” could also request your bank account information for purposes of “setting up a direct deposit,” which then gives scammers access to your hard earned money!
    • What to do: Always go through a reliable source, whether it be a recruiter or personal contact to verify information on a “too good to be true” opportunity.  Verify names and company information via websites and other internet research.

LinkedIn is also rolling out a free verification badge option for all members. While this is new and may not be in common use yet, consider additional verification when that badge is absent. Finally, be even more vigilant on specific “gig” sites due to the consulting and remote nature, which could be an easy target for scammers.

  • Remitting Funds in Conjunction with a Job Offer Scam – Similar to the fake job offer above, some scammers are also employing creative ways to get your money!  They will go down the same path of the job offer, but then offer to send you a “check” to acquire a computer and other equipment to do your job.  While the check will be received (and you will be thrilled to deposit it), you may later hear that they “accidentally sent you double” and will ask for you to wire back half.  Unfortunately, the check will bounce and now you will be out the cost of the equipment you acquired, as well as the excess payment you returned to the fake company, which has now disappeared.
    • What to do: Always, always be wary of anyone asking for you to wire or remit funds in conjunction with any employment opportunity.  While the excitement of a new job opportunity might cause you to ignore the red flags, ANY employment offer that is tied to you expending or remitting funds should be considered questionable.

Additional Tips:

  • While not a “scam” in the traditional sense, be very cautious about any information (e.g., resume, financial data, etc.) that you upload to open-source AI platform. Once leveraged in an AI request, that data becomes part of the database, thus subjecting your personal information, or confidential company data, to access by others.  Using company information in this manner could result in a violation of company policy and put your job at risk.
  • Be extra cautious about any offer or solicitations from a Gmail or personal email account. Generally, such communications should come from an organization’s business domain.
  • Do your homework! Search for the company website online, go to its LinkedIn page, and/or use a job site, such as Glassdoor, to do research. Most companies will have a listing of active, viable positions available for confirmation on their corporate website.
  • If the recruiter or company contact is evasive when asked about the specifics of the job or is unable to provide company benefits and other requested information, that’s a red flag.
  • If you suspect the contact may be using a fake profile, check their LinkedIn connections to see if they are connected with other company contacts, and potentially mutual contacts of yours.
  • Be extremely suspicious if there is no formal interview and if a job offer comes based solely off of your resume/profile and/or emails back and forth. That is unless you are using a recruiter you trust, and they have an existing relationship with the company and hiring managers.
  • Unless you have gone through a full interview process, do not give out your personal information, such as social security number and bank account information. While these items are standard in a traditional job offer and onboarding process, you should make sure that everything is legitimate and that you have vetted the opportunity before doing so.
  • Last but certainly not least…if the opportunity seems WAY too good to be true, trust your gut.

AI technology has tremendous potential for personal and professional benefit; however, as with any emerging technology, it can also come with pitfalls.  Employ skepticism when in doubt. When it comes to your personal information, always make sure you are using a trusted source. Don’t hesitate to insist on meeting a recruiter or corporate contact in person or virtually before exploring opportunities. A new career step should be a positive and exciting experience, and we hope the advice and cautionary tales outlined above will help you navigate that process painlessly.  As always, if you have questions about your career, feel free to contact anyone at Taylor White or AccountAbility Staffing via