Avoiding Remote Job Scams
2020 has been a year of challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, and a once-in-a-lifetime change to the way many of us work. The move to remote working happened suddenly, and companies scrambled to find solutions for new problems like remote recruiting and connectivity, equipment, and communication for remote workers.
Sadly, criminals have also changed their methods and have used the pandemic as an opportunity to target artists with fake job offers from studios that would be dream jobs. The criminals hide their identities behind fake names, fake studio email addresses and fake Telegram accounts to fool artists into believing they have been offered a real job. Thankfully all of these details can be easily checked with a quick online search of LinkedIn and studio websites.
Riot Recruiters will never use personal emails or an @gmail.com account to contact candidates. We will never ask for personal info (ssn) or money as part of the interview process. We never interview over messenger or text-based chat. Learn more about Riot’s interview process.
Studios advertise their legitimate jobs on their Careers pages, and job boards like ArtStation Jobs where all jobs are reviewed before posting for accuracy and legitimate contact details.
Well-known studios never use gmail email accounts for outreach, so if you do receive a studio job offer from a gmail account, you know that it’s a scam.
The most common scam at the moment uses the same “sham job” details but change the name of the studio and require you to contact them with the Telegram messaging app.
Unauthorized third parties may try to contact artists claiming to be representatives of our company, and send false offers of employment in order to solicit money. If you receive any suspicious messages, they should be ignored and reported.
Big Fish Games
How the job scam works
1. The scammers visit your website or profile page on ArtStation to get your email address. Though they might claim that ArtStation has supplied your portfolio to them, we never do this.
2. They send you an email (from a gmail.com account) that claims to be from a well-known studio with details about a role they want you to apply for.
PHISHING EMAIL EXAMPLE From: David White <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 8:56 AM Subject: Bluepoint Games Online Job Opportunity To: <email@example.com> Job Title: 2D & 3D Artist Company Name:Bluepoint Games.. Hours: 20-40hrs per week Job Location: Remote. Pay: $65/hour About Bluepoint Games: Bluepoint Games, Inc. is an American independent video game developer located in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 2006 by Marco Thrush and late Andy O'Neil, both previously part of the Metroid Prime series engineering team. Originally starting out with their own original properties and games, the company has since shifted to a strong focus on modernizing old games. About the Job: We are looking for a talented 2D & 3D artist who will work closely with our concept, environment and design teams to create levels that are visually stunning. You can also apply if you don't have any experience as we provide some online training if desired. Responsibilities: * Draw and sculpt 2D and 3D digital models to design requirements. * Illustrate and develop concepts (sketch, drawing, etc.) to support production. * Create in-game 2D assets, following the art style and technical constraints. * Model, UV & texture 3D assets and integrate meshes in game. * Interpret concept art, understand art direction and work within the overall game style. * Collaborate with other artists, programmers and designers. * Provide accurate time estimates for tasks and meet production deadlines. Experience and Qualifications: * A positive attitude and a commitment to bringing fresh ideas to the team and the game. * 1-2 years of experience in the gaming industry. * Ability to work in a variety of styles * Expert knowledge of Photoshop. * Knowledge of 3DS Max * Knowledge of animation (2D or 3D) is a plus. * Background in Traditional and Digital Art. Benefits: * Employee discount. * Full health care coverage. * Dental and vision coverage. * 401k Match. * Flexible Schedule. For Immediate consideration please follow the steps below to apply: We saw your portfolio on Artstation.com and we would like to have a brief chat with you through our Telegram page for the job interview, you can download Telegram app on your computer or smartphone from the app store, and message Barbara Smith the HR Manager on Telegram through her username (@Bluepointgamesonlinejob) to get started. NOTE: Telegram is a simple chat messaging platform for workers like Slack. David White, Human Resource Department. Bluepoint Games..
3. They request that you download and install the Telegram app which they use to conduct a chat interview. The reason for using this app is that all activities are encrypted and so are hidden from authorities.
4. After a quick text chat interview, they offer you the job without any formal paperwork and request your banking details and a photo of your official identification.
5. They then tell you they will pay for your hardware, software and training and send you a photo of a check that they ask you to deposit at your bank or through your banking app. They often send this on a Friday so that you won’t be able to check with your bank over the weekend.
6. They then ask you to buy some of the equipment from their “vendor” at your cost while you wait for the check to clear. Their “vendor” will have a Venmo or Zelle account that they request you send your money to.
What can you do if you’ve been targeted?
If you have been targeted by this job scam, there are a few things you can do to make it harder for them to do the same to anyone else.
If you have given them your bank details, call your bank immediately and ask them to freeze your account.
If you have made a payment via Venmo, contact their support to report the account.
If you have made a payment via Zelle, fill in their Jobs scam form.
If you live in the United States, you can also report the Venmo or Zelle user directly to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Check your country’s Government websites for advice on how to deal with phishing scams under local laws.
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