Ways To Detect A Fake Job Offer
Sadly scammers are on the increase, with more and more fictitious jobs appearing on job boards, and more and more unsuspecting job seekers being conned into parting with their hard earned money, or becoming victims of identity theft.
What is a Job Scam?
A job scam occurs when a scammer poses as an employer or recruiter, and offers attractive employment opportunities which require that the job seeker pay money in advance. This is usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses or background and or credit checks that are required for the job. Once the money has been paid over the scammer disappears, and the job seeker is left with no job, and out of pocket.
Whatever the scammer’s technique is and how they go about their modus operandi, their goal is always the same. To separate you from your cash, or to obtain your confidential personal information, that can be used in identity theft.
The problem is, that scammers are becoming more and more crafty in the way they operate, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to know what is a scam and what is a legitimate job opening.
It also appears that more and more often, the scammers are targeting job seekers from overseas, such as hopeful immigrants or contractors, where they use the lure of huge salaries, work permits and paid travel in first world countries, as ways of enticing the job seeker to part with their money.
So how do you recognize a job scam, and what signs should you look out for?
If they ask for money, you are being scammed. Never part with your money. The golden rule is any job offer that requires that you pay a fee in advance, is probably a scam. Most reputable companies will absorb these costs themselves. Another warning sign, is if the recruiter offers to train you for the job, in return for money. NEVER pay money across ever. No legitimate company or recruiter will ask for money upfront. Not for anything.
Do some research on the company. Visit the company’s website. If they do not have one, or it does not have contact details, then you need to tread cautiously. If there is a company website, compare the contact numbers, email addresses etc, to what would appear when doing a Google on the company or in a company directory.
Be careful of free email accounts. Any recruiter or company that corresponds from a free email account such as Yahoo, Live, Hotmail or Gmail could be a scammer. Legitimate job related emails will come from corporate email accounts.Do a Google search on the company. Do a search on the company name and see what information you can find. Compare it to the information that you have been sent.
Check scam lists. Always check with organisations such as Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission to see if the company has been reported as a scammer.
Be extremely cautious of job offers without interviews. Always remember that reputable companies are not going to offer you a role without interviewing your first. Flattering as it may seem that they were so impressed with your resume, that they have offered you a position without meeting you first, the reality is, that you are probably being scammed if this happens. Never, ever accept a job offer that has come through via email, when you have never had a telephonic or face-to-face interview.
Be careful of work from home offers. If this appears in the job title, the chances are very real that it is a scam. The chances of making money in your pajamas may sound enticing, and the idea of making a lot of money whilst being able to work from home is just too good to pass for many gullible job seekers, and because of this, it is a favorite with scammers. Unsuspecting job seekers have been falling for this type of scam for years now.
Salaries that are way over what you would normally earn. Getting paid a really high salary is not the norm for all job seekers. Any legitimate employer will evaluate your skill set and experience, before deciding on what you are worth. If the company offers you a salary that is completely out of your range, and experience, you are probably in the process of being scammed.
Don’t hand out personal information. Never part with your social security number or personal information. By divulging this information, you may just be setting the scene for the scammer to pose as you to apply for credit cards, and run up massive bills in your name and ruin your credit record. The only time you should be handing over personal information such as social security numbers, is after you have been hired and are setting up payment and tax information.
Be cautious of emails with grammatical and spelling mistakes. Most online fraud is carried out by scammers outside of the United States, with English often not being their home language, so check the grammar and spelling carefully when communicating.
Fake URLs (websites). Scammers often use fake URLs to mask themselves as large well known corporates. Double check the URL, or the web address of the company. You may think that you are on a well-known company’s website, when you are actually on a bogus website. So always check the URL first.
Be on the look out for vague sketchy job descriptions. If you read the job description and at the end of it, you are not really sure what the job actually entails, or if the role states that there is no specific skill necessary for the job, you are probably about to be scammed. The majority of jobs will require at least some experience or qualification.
The consequences of falling prey to scammers, can be devastating and can include identity theft, the loss of your hard earned money, and illegal charges to your credit card. It can be a very hard lesson to have to learn, and devastating for already cash strapped job seekers.
Don’t learn the hard way. Before falling prey to unscrupulous scammers, do your homework and checks very carefully.
While internet has helped job seekers find vacancies at the click of a button from anywhere, it has also made them more vulnerable to hackers. Here are eight ways to figure out whether the job offer you have just received is genuine or fake.
3. The list of opening shared with you would be enormous — right from blue collar staffers of all industries to white collar staffers to the top management.
4. Generally, these emails would land in your spam folder. Because, they were sent in bulk.
5. Email address from where the mail is sent would be deceptive. You would find email address where the name of the company would be displayed like this ‘@abc.com’. However, a genuine job call from any company will never use email services of Gmail or Yahoo Mail or Hotmail to send job offers to candidates.
6. Office address given in the bottom of the mail would mostly be wrong.
7. Fake job calls generally would have numerous misspellings and grammatical errors.
8. It’s a fake job call if you asked to disclose your date of birth, social security number or any other personal detail. Companies may ask for some of this information but not before the job offer has been made. It is at secondary stage after you have been shortlisted that some such information is required for background check.
To stay safe, it is advisable to do a little research about the company before applying. See if there are openings on their career page. Also, compare the contact information from company website to the information that you have received in email.