Tech: ‘Bait-and-switch’ job fraud

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Welcome to Wednesday, readers. Reporting to you from New York, I'm Jordan Parker Erb. 

Today, my colleague Rob Price has an enlightening look at a new trend in job hunting: "bait-and-switch" interview fraud

In short, candidates are hiring other people to pretend to be them for interviews. Then, on the first day of work, the real candidate shows up in place of the interviewee. It's a doozy of a story; Let's get started.


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A man with three different color masks floating in front of him with a primarily blue background

1. Some job applicants have found a new way to cheat the system. Posturing on a résumé is one thing. But according to recruiters, employers, and job applicants, an increasing number of candidates are taking it a step further — by hiring stand-ins to pretend to be them, sit through job interviews, and land them the position. 

  • As more and more companies conduct job interviews via video chat and hire employees who can work remotely, experts say it's easier than ever to pull off a bait and switch.
  • In many cases, the candidates who pull a bait and switch are underqualified — or flat out unqualified — for the job they're applying for. By hiring a proxy, they're able to land a job they would otherwise have no chance at.
  • The fraudulent interviews seem to be particularly widespread in IT fields, which can result in unqualified hires having access to critical infrastructure. In other industries, typically lower-level jobs — or people doing "things you can get away with googling for a while," one recruiter said.

How bait-and-switch job fraud works.


Ever been bait-and-switched by a new hire? Or paid someone to do a job interview for you? Contact my colleague, Rob Price, by email at , or on Twitter at @robaeprice.


In other news:

Amazon ad series: Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet Sundar Pichai vs CEO of Amazon Andy Jassy surrounded surrounded by Amazon/Google related imagery

2. Googlers who used to work at Amazon are sharing horror stories about their former employer's "frupid" culture. In an internal email thread, more than two dozen Amazonians-turned-Googlers have described Amazon as a penny-pinching, empathy-lacking corporate behemoth. We reviewed screenshots of the discussion — here's what we learned

3. Inside the Twitter whistleblower's Senate hearing. In Peiter Zatko's testimony, he alleged there's at least one Chinese spy at the company. Meanwhile, in true Elon Musk fashion, the billionaire tweeted a popcorn emoji as the former Twitter exec testified. Elsewhere in Twitter news, the company's shareholders approved Musk's takeover of the firm. Here's the latest.

4. How to land a spot in PayPal's competitive internship program. Last year, 40,000 people applied for just one role at the payments giant. We spoke with one of the company's recruiting leads, who shared how to stand out during the application process — and on the job.

5. Amazon has 31 patents of a "human yell" as a trigger to stop its Astro home robot. Amazon has been granted dozens of patents that mention using the sound of a "human yell" to stop Astro, the Alexa-enabled home robot designed to follow a person around and complete tasks. Get the full rundown here.

6. A former Times Square street vendor switched careers by learning to code. Devin Jackson, a vendor turned software engineer, used free resources to break into tech — and now runs a nonprofit that helps Black New Yorkers land high-paying jobs in the industry. Inside his nonprofit, We Build Black.

7. NASA's administrator said everybody "poo-pooed" SpaceX — but it's outperformed Boeing. Bill Nelson said critics dismissed SpaceX when it was up against Boeing, but Elon Musk's company has actually achieved more. Here's what else he said.

8. Patreon is laying off around 17% of its workforce. A blog post from CEO Jack Conte said the company is cutting 80 positions from operations, finance and other departments. It comes almost a week after Patreon laid off employees on its security team 


Odds and ends:

Image of the Orion Nebula

9. The James Webb telescope captured stunning photos of the Orion Nebula. The photos show the nebula,  a star nursery 1,350 light-years from Earth, in more detail than ever before. Scientists have been waiting on these images for years — get a look at them here.

10. Self-driving taxis could be coming to a city near you. GM's Cruise, a robotaxi startup, plans to expand its service to Phoenix and Austin within 90 days, following its launch in San Francisco earlier this year. What we know so far.


What we're watching today:


Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.


Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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