How to determine if a job offer is a scam
Scammers are aware how hard it can be to find a job and they prey on this weakness through tricking people with the lure of job offers. They will tend to advertise on mediums used by job consultancy firms and real employers to entice people. Moreover, they make promises about getting you a job offer that is actually non-existent and all they ask for in return is a payment for their so-called services.
So, if you are wondering how you can determine if a job offer is actually a scam, read on to get a fair idea.
What are the warning signs of a job scam?
There are several signs that can help you recognize whether a job offer is a scam. These include:
- Payment required: The most common sign of a job scam is when you are asked to pay a certain amount of money to get a job. Employees do not pay the employer, it is supposed to be vice-versa.
- No experience required: If the job description is vague and you do not require any skills or experience to get it, this is usually the first sign of a job scam. Remember that even an entry-level job requires some sort of experience or skills.
- Suspicious emails: Emails that do not include any form of contact information for the concerned organization or are sent from a personal account, are usually employment scams. With regards to receiving a job offer through a personal email account, the scammer may use excuses like “the organization’s server is down”, “the organization is facing spam issues” or “the organization has not set up its email accounts”. Scammers are smart and they will send emails from accounts that resemble the actual email account of an organization. For example, you could receive a job offer from ‘email@example.com’, whereas the actual email account of the organization is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
- You did not apply: This is another sign of job scams. People who contact you will usually say that they found your resume online. In some cases, they may tempt you by offering you a job right away. In these cases, it is better to conduct a background check on the firm to see if it actually exists.
- Unprofessional communication: Job offers containing grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and incorrect punctuation are definitely scam emails as authentic job offers would not include such errors.
- Unbelievable pay with less effort: These are usually the work from home scams where you get paid handsomely by working only for a few hours every day. Legitimate work from home jobs would require you to possess a certain amount of experience and skills. Furthermore, the organizations providing genuine work from home jobs will have a proper website containing their contact information.
- You have to provide sensitive information: If your personal information such as date of birth, driver’s license number, bank details or address is requested in a job offer, more likely than not, it is a scam. No genuine organization will ask for your personal details in the job offer itself.
How to check if a job offer is fake?
If you have any doubts regarding the authenticity of a job offer, take a look at some pointers that will help you assess it:
- Interview process: Job scammers usually conduct interviews over the phone or through instant messaging apps. If you are attending an interview that takes place through an instant messaging app, it is a fake job. Job interviews for real jobs are formal in nature and are conducted face to face.
- Job details: If a job description is confusing or if little information is provided about the post, then it is probably a job scam. For example, if a job description says, “looking for adult candidates who are citizens of the country and have access to the Internet”, this is clearly a fake job advertisement.
- Conduct a background check: If you receive a job offer, ensure you carry out a background check on the organization. Try obtaining the organization’s address, contact information and history. If this information is not present, then the job offer is fake.
- Check scam lists: When you receive a job offer from a firm, you can contact organizations like Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission to check if the concerned firm has been reported as a scammer.
How to avoid Internet job scams?
Take a look at some tips that will help you in identifying and avoiding job scams:
- Examine the job offer for anything suspicious: Employment scams usually have certain hints that can help in recognizing fake jobs. These could range from spelling errors in the job advertisements and job offers to the contact email address. For example, if you receive a job offer from ‘email@example.com’, then you should assume that it is a scam.
- Be suspicious of jobs that request your bank account details: You should never provide your bank account details to the people who provide you with a job offer. These are innovative ways to scam you and take your money.
- Apply for jobs through reputable agencies: This is an excellent method to protect yourself from Internet job scams. Agencies will send your resume to actual organizations and the job offer would be received through the agency.
- Trust your instincts: If you feel a job offer is too good to be true, it probably is. When you receive your job offer, compare the salary package online with similar job roles.
Fake job offer letter sample
Take a look at a sample fake job letter:
We saw ur resume online and would like to offer u job in company – E&F&Z Associates.
Ur job role and responsibilities will remain same as stated in your resume. We will give 60% hike over current salary, making your total salary package $200,000 CAD annually.
You have 2 log in for only 30 hours every week compared to ur current 45 hours. We will also give you the freedom to work from home.
If you wish accept the job offer, pls send email at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, with information of:
Social Insurance Number (SIN);
Bank account details.
Yours in service,
How to report a fake job offer letter?
You can employ several methods to report a fake job offer letter, such as:
- File a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC): The CAFC is Canada’s central repository for data, intelligence and resource material as it relates to fraud. Filing a complaint can be done offline or online.
- Report the organization to the Better Business Bureau (BBB): Enter the organization’s name into the search box present on BBB’s website to see if the organization has any past history of scams. You can also file a complaint on this website.
- Report a fraudulent website to Google: If you have received a fake employment offer letter from a fraudulent firm, you can report its website to Google.
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