Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

Tis’ the Season for Aviation Job Scams

with 4 comments

Hard times often bring out the best in people. Some help others, some try to “pay it forward”. This year however, there is an element that will be more than happy to take money from those who can least afford to lose it. These people are professional aviation job scammers preying on unemployed pilots.

I know we are all familiar with the usual scams, such as the famous “Nigerian Prince” or the fabulous foreign lottery you just won that you never heard of, but this year some of the scammers are becoming much more professional and roping in even seasoned aviation job hunters. Heres a good example.

Recently, an individual has called pilots posing as Falcon Air in the UAE or Abu Dhabi Aviation. Often they will call pilots unsolicited and offer the opportunity for employment. Many of us pilots fall for this since is it not unusual to get a call from a company that many have seen your employment profile online. These scammers even go as far to ask for the usual documents and conduct a phone interview. They even know the pilot “nomenclature”. Once they have your “trust” they then try to get you to either pay a “processing fee” or get other credit card or SSN information to get employment. DONT FALL FOR IT!!!! It is a classic “Phishing” scam!! More than one pilot has nearly given all his personal information to these guys. If you get a call or email from these guys ignore it or hang up. Thanks to Bizjetjobs.com and FindaPilot.com for warning others about this scam.

How do we protect ourselves from scams like these. Especially sophisticated ones by phone or email.

 I have a few tips:

1.) Beware anyone who calls you unsolicited…In this job market, employers have literally the pick of any of thousands of people. The chance they are going to call around randomly just to look for employees out of the blue is fairly slim. Im not saying it doesnt happen, but it’s VERY rare these days. While many employers do call potential employees, they will mention the specific job board or source. It still pays to be cautious. Make a note of the number that has called you. It’s easy to find out whom it is with a “reverse number lookup” on the web. I often use Google. Some phone numbers are already known to be scams and this will save you a lot of time and trouble. If someone calls and appears to be legitimate, ask LOTS of questions. Red flags might include things like not telling you which company they are calling from, evading questions or nervousness on the phone. It goes without saying to NOT give any personal information like SSN or credit cards to ANY party over the phone. Anyone asking your for money can automatically be considered a scam. There is also a site called Ripoffreport.com where you can look up any company that may contact you and  Google and the Department of Transportation web site are always there as good reasearch tools.

2.) Many scam artists use the “cut and paste” method to pose as legitimate companies…A favorite of the phishing emails are ones that look like they come from legitimate companies. Clicking on the links often take you to what looks like a real web site. BE CAREFUL!! It many be an attempt to get personal information. The best way to avoid this is to first check the “more details” area of your email. If it’s from a strange email address watch out. When in doubt, Google the email address, you might be surprised what you find. Some also say if the email is from a Gmail address its a scam, but some companies use it to keep from being overwhelmed by resumes. It’s still up to you to perform “due diligence” on any email you receive. The second way is to look at the header bar if you click on a link. The header shows the source of the web page. Look a little strange? Probably a scam.  Lastly check for spelling and grammatical errors. For some reason (probably because many scammers are from overseas) the spelling and grammar tend to be very poor. This is an easy catch for a potential scam.

3.) Do your homework before accepting any job offer or giving any information..Many if not all companies these days have SOME kind of internet presence. Pretty much any company out there that you type into Google is going to have some kind of internet history. Beware companies where you can’t find out any information about them. While it’s not unusual for new start-ups to not have a presence, any company that tells you its been “around for years” and doesnt have at least one hit on the search engines should be a cause for concern. There should be at least a corporate filing (if applicable) somewhere. If it’s VERY recent when the story given you was different WATCH OUT. The same goes with the people who may call you. In this modern age, you can pretty much find out almost anything you need to know in a couple of key strokes. If someone tells you they are a “billionaire” and you find their address is in a trailer park, that should also raise some red flags. (Much of this is based on a very recent incident).

4.) If a call or email you get raises serious concerns like safety or national security report it IMMEDIATELY…Some scammers have gotten so bold that they have resorted to “death threat” emails. These emails attempt to extort money from people by THREATENING TO KILL THEM. I know of at least 2 people who have gotten these emails. Of course its an extortion scam. Such emails should be immediately reported to the FBI and TSA (if necessary). Likewise job offers that pay only in cash, involve foreign purchases of US aircraft without a good explanation or documentation, ask inappropriate questions or involve national security should be logged, saved and reported to TSA . We all have to look out for each other. This type of scam could be the worst kind involving persons who want to do harm to this country.

It’s a very tough market out there right now and the people who are preying on desperation and emotion are the worst kinds imaginable. Lets all make sure they dont take one dime of our money or our identity as we look for work.

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Written by tdwnds1

December 4, 2009 at 6:50 am

4 Responses

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pilot Jobs, Aviation. Aviation said: RT @FindAPilot: Please read @tdwnds1 blog post on #aviation #job #scams http://tinyurl.com/yesukzj […]

  2. […] This post was Twitted by hashaviation […]

    Twitted by hashaviation

    December 5, 2009 at 8:23 pm

  3. Great information that is much appreciated. Thank you for providing such interesting content.

    Darren Smith

    December 17, 2009 at 8:48 am

  4. Thanks for this really helpful information. I too have been cheated by a company called http://www.arunkassociates.com by Rs 75,000 stating they would get me a job in Etihad Airways using the company letterhead

    Mansoor

    November 27, 2011 at 7:20 am


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