Atrium Staffing is warning job seekers about an emerging scam involving a person posing as “Dora from Atrium” to try and steal personal information from applicants. This recruitment scam is specifically targeting people responding to job postings on Craigslist in the New York metro area.
How the Scam Works
The scammers are creating fake but very professional looking job ads on Craigslist for various roles like administrative assistants, HR coordinators, office managers, etc.
When an applicant responds to the ad, they receive a well-written email from “Dora from Atrium Recruiting” asking them to complete an employment application and background check consent form.
The scammers use an email address that looks similar to a legitimate Atrium Staffing address, often something like [email protected] instead of the real email endings like @atriumstaff.com.
The employment application collects extensive personal information like SSN, driver’s license, banking details, and more. The background check release form gives the scammers consent to perform credit checks and access other private records.
Of course, the scammers have no intention of using this information for employment screening. Instead, they plan to commit identity theft and open fraudulent accounts.
Recruitment Scam Warning from Atrium Staffing
Atrium Staffing has posted alerts about this scam on their website and social media channels to warn job seekers. They make it clear that these fake job posts and emails are not affiliated with Atrium in any way.
Here’s an excerpt from one of their scam warnings:
We are disheartened to be alerting our Job Seeker community that scammers are using our name or a version of our name to impersonate our staff by falsely offering jobs in an illegal attempt to collect personal information from job seekers. These scammers have created fake but realistic-looking job postings, websites, emails, text messages and are making direct telephone calls.
Atrium states that legitimate emails from their company will always end in @atriumstaff.com, @atriumglobal.com or @atriumworks.com. Job seekers should be very cautious of any messages using slight variations of these domain names.
The alert also provides links to report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission and FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Who is Atrium Staffing?
Atrium Staffing is a large, reputable staffing agency operating throughout the United States. They fill permanent, temporary, temp-to-perm, and contract positions for numerous clients across many industries.
Some key facts about Atrium Staffing:
- Operates over 70 branch office locations across the US
- Privately-held company founded in 1983
- Employs over 1,000 internal staff
- Placed over 47,000 workers in 2020
- Won ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Client and Talent Awards 7 years running
They are a well-established company with a strong professional reputation. Scammers are impersonating Atrium in an attempt to trick applicants into trusting them.
Tactics Used in the Atrium Recruitment Scam
Here are some of the key tactics used by the scammers posing as Atrium Staffing employees:
✔️ Realistic fake job ads – The job postings mirror legitimate listings and include common administrative and office positions that Atrium frequently recruits for.
✔️ Spoofed email addresses – Email addresses used like [email protected] look almost identical to real Atrium Staffing email formats.
✔️ Well-written messages – Emails contain proper grammar, spelling, and a professional tone similar to legitimate recruiters.
✔️ Employment application – Application has fields for extensive personal information like SSN, driver’s license, bank accounts, and more.
✔️ Background check release – Form gives the scammers consent to perform credit checks and access other private records.
✔️ Follow-up calls – Some reports indicate the scammers call applicants to try and further build trust.
✔️ Targeting Craigslist – Scam job posts focus specifically on Craigslist, which doesn’t have robust screening protocols.
Protecting Yourself from the Dora Atrium Scam
While this scam is sophisticated, there are things job applicants can do to avoid getting caught by it:
✔️ Verify the email domain – Emails from Atrium Staffing will always be from their company domains like @atriumstaff.com. Be suspicious of any variations.
✔️ Look up the job listing – Search for the job title on the legitimate company’s website to see if the posting really exists.
✔️ Research the recruiter – Search for the recruiter’s name on LinkedIn or the company site to confirm they work there.
✔️ Never give banking/SSN info – Legitimate employers won’t ask for this level of sensitive information early in the hiring process.
✔️ Watch for pressure tactics – Scammers try to instill a false sense of urgency to get people to act quickly without vetting things.
✔️ Trust your instincts – If anything seems suspicious or strange, pause the process and gather more info. Don’t ignore red flags.
Reporting Atrium Staffing Scams
If you come across a scam involving Atrium Staffing or “Dora from Atrium”, here are important contacts to report it:
- Atrium Staffing – Notify them through their Contact Us page so they can post scam alerts.
- Craigslist – Use the “prohibited” option when flagging the fake job listing.
- Federal Trade Commission – File a report about the scam at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
- FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center – Report cybercrimes and frauds to the IC3 website.
- Local Police – File a police report about the scam attempt in your jurisdiction.
The more people who report these scams when they encounter them, the more awareness can be raised to combat the problem. Atrium Staffing also encourages anyone targeted by this scam to contact them directly so they can take action.
How Account Takeover Scams Lead to Identity Theft
Employment scams involving fake recruiters are often a gateway to larger identity theft and account takeover schemes.
By collecting key details like SSN, birth date, bank account numbers, driver’s license information, and permission for background checks, the scammers have everything they need to commit identity theft.
Common ways the stolen information is used:
- Open credit cards and other loans in the victim’s name
- Access and drain the victim’s bank accounts
- File fraudulent tax returns for refund checks
- Get medical care or prescription drugs using the victim’s health insurance
- Commit crimes while impersonating the victim if driver’s license info was obtained
- Access and steal information from the victim’s existing accounts by resetting passwords
- Sell the information on the dark web for others to use in fraud
This is why it’s critical to avoid giving any sensitive personal or financial details to questionable recruiters or job listings. The impact of this kind of identity theft and financial fraud can be severe and challenging to recover from.
Advice for Data Breach Victims
Unfortunately, large-scale data breaches have put millions of people’s personal information in the hands of scammers and identity thieves. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1,862 publicly reported data compromises in 2020 exposing nearly 37 billion records.
Even people who are very cautious about protecting their information can have their data stolen or exposed in a breach.
If you are notified your information was compromised in a breach, here are important steps to take:
✅ Place a credit freeze and fraud alert on all three major credit bureaus. This restricts access to your credit file so new accounts can’t be opened easily.
✅ Monitor your credit reports frequently for any signs of fraudulent activity. Use a service like Credit Karma to check more often.
✅ Change login credentials for all financial accounts and set stronger passwords. Avoid reusing passwords between accounts.
✅ Review all bank and credit card statements closely for any transactions you don’t recognize. Dispute unauthorized charges promptly.
✅ Be alert for any contacts regarding government benefits, health insurance, or tax records which could signal identity theft in those areas.
✅ Consider enrolling in identity theft protection services that actively monitor for fraudulent use of your personal information.
Staying vigilant following a breach is essential to detecting and stopping fraudulent activity quickly in order to limit damages.
Beware of Job Scams on Legitimate Websites Too
While many job scams originate on sites with limited protections like Craigslist or social media, even reputable job boards can be abused by fraudsters. Sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, and even LinkedIn have some percentage of fake listings mingled among real postings.
For example, scammers have been known to:
- Post fake listings mirroring real vacant positions at companies.
- Impersonate actual recruiters who work at legitimate staffing agencies or HR departments.
- Use compromised accounts from past data breaches to post scam jobs.
- Quickly repost fake listings using new accounts after old posts get flagged and removed.
- Use sophisticated techniques like spoofing phone numbers to appear to call from a legitimate business.
The cream of the crop principle applies here – if something seems suspiciously too good to be true, it very well may be. Scammers will often promise very high salaries, excellent benefits, remote work options, and other perks in short listings with very general descriptions.
Job seekers should be on high alert for any requests for upfront fees to apply or get additional information on the role. And as always, avoid providing sensitive personal details like SSN or bank account numbers before thoroughly vetting the recruiter and company.
How to Avoid Falling Victim to Employment Scams
While scammers are persistent, there are ways job seekers can avoid being victimized by employment cons and fraudulent job postings:
✅ Vet every job lead thoroughly – Scrutinize postings, recruiters, and companies through independent research before applying or supplying personal information.
✅ Conduct phone and video interviews – Insist on doing the initial interview over the phone or video chat before meeting in person. Many scams won’t withstand much live interaction.
✅ Watch for telltale tactics – Requests for sensitive info upfront, pressure to act immediately, very general job descriptions, and too-good-to-be-true perks are huge red flags.
✅ Search for the job title on the company’s site – This lets you cross-reference if a posting really exists versus something mocked up by scammers.
✅ Look up recruiters on LinkedIn – Vet that the person reaching out matches an employee profile at the hiring company.
✅ Beware of hot job trends – Scammers latch onto whatever is in high demand, such as remote work, tech roles, work from home opportunities, etc.
✅ Report suspicious listings – Flag shady job posts on the site where you found them and notify the legitimate company being impersonated.
Staying cautious, listening to your instincts, and doing thorough vetting is the best way to avoid being stung by an employment scam.
Advice for Companies Being Impersonated
Unfortunately, scammers impersonate legitimate businesses in order to trust with victims. But there are some things companies can do to protect their reputation and limit damage:
✓ Search for the company name on job sites to look for fraudulent listings. Flag any found to have them removed.
✓ Warn consumers and job seekers through alerts on the company website and social media channels. Make people aware of the scam tactics being used.
✓ Publish lists of legitimate employee email domains, recruiting sites used, and details on the hiring process to empower applicants to spot inconsistencies.
✓ Proactively contact high risk targets like recent applicants alerting them to the scam. The more aware people are, the less likely they’ll be fooled.
✓ Consult with an SEO specialist to optimize the company’s real website and listings higher than fake pages scammers stand up.
✓ Consider legal action depending on the severity of reputation damage caused or amount of victim losses.
✓ Offer assistance and support to any consumers or applicants who were defrauded while thinking they were engaging with the real company. Providing help to victims can improve brand sentiment.
While recruitment scams can be difficult to stop entirely, companies who are proactive and transparent with consumers can mitigate risks greatly.
Reporting Job Scams to Authorities
If you come across a job scam, be sure to report it through the appropriate channels:
- Notify the site or platform where the scam originated. For example, flag fake listings on job sites or social media networks.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Provide details on how the scam works, contact info used, and content of any emails or listings.
- Submit a cybecrime complaint to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov if money was lost. Includeinformation on payments sent or any compromised accounts.
- Contact the legitimate business being impersonated so they can post scam alerts and notify their applicants.
- Warn others by leaving reviews about fraudulent listings on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. Share details so people know what to watch for.
- Report fake job postings to Google so search rankings can be adjusted. Use Google’s support pages to submit scam websites.
The more paper trail created through scam reports, the more authorities can piece together patterns, trace contacts back to perpetrators, issue consumer alerts, and eventually shut down scammers.
Unfortunately, employment scams remain highly prevalent and continue evolving as job seekers rely so heavily on online job search. Scammers are drawn to the opportunity to easily collect sensitive personal information from applicants under the guise of vetting them for jobs.
Atrium Staffing has found itself targeted by sophisticated scammers posing as their recruiters and using fake job posts to harvest data from applicants. They have issued alerts warning job seekers to be cautious of unsolicited contacts and to verify legitimacy before providing any information.
Job seekers must stay vigilant in watching for red flags and independently confirming every aspect of postings, recruiters, and companies before trusting them with personal data.
Reporting scams to authorities and companies being impersonated also helps combat the problem. Through awareness and diligence, job seekers can avoid being stung by these malicious cons.
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