Of course, the simplest way for a jobseeker to ensure that he or she is not scammed is to work through a trusted job portal. But this is often easier said than done. “Usually a job scam will target individuals for whom the job search is critical. The ads often appeal to that sense of urgency by offering employment terms that are too good to be true,” says Shaun Clarke from Careers24
If a jobseeker is drawn to a job ad outside of his or her usual portal then there are a few things they can do to check the legitimacy of the job ad.
- Have a look at the contact’s email address (e.g. email@example.com). Does it match the company’s website domain (e.g. sam@XYZLimited.com)? If not, then the ad requires further investigation before an application is made.
- Do an online search for the vacancy. If it doesn’t come up anywhere then chances are it is not legitimate. All real job ads will have an online presence.
Other red flags to be aware of:
- The company wants to hire the applicant without an interview.
- The grammar and spelling in the job ad is terrible.
- The applicant is asked to provide credit card details, bank account numbers and personal information.
- The applicant is offered a cash incentive for using their bank account to transfer money or deposit cash.
- There is a promise of a large salary for little to no work.
- The applicant is asked to pay fees for a uniform or an induction programme. “In fact,” says Clarke, “any request for payment as part of a job application should be seen as fraudulent.”
- The applicant is asked to fax their CV. These fax numbers are usually a premium service which charges the applicant very high fees for sending the required documentation.
In this online age, where a large part of our business is conducted remotely via the internet, we all have to be very savvy when it comes to parting with our hard-earned money or personal details. “But job scamming isn’t just about people losing money,” explains Clarke. “At their worst, job scams have been known to be tools for human trafficking. Thankfully there are many high-profile, legitimate online job portals that job seekers can safely navigate with trust.”