Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
nestegg logo

Earn

Job scam warning signs: How to spot an online hiring scam

By Louise Chan · July 23 2019
Reading:
egg
egg
egg
How to spot an online hiring scam

Job scam warning signs: How to spot an online hiring scam

author image
By Louise Chan · July 23 2019
Reading:
egg
egg
egg
How to spot an online hiring scam

Finding a job that fits your credentials can already be tough, but scammers make job-hunting tougher for those who are looking for legitimate job opportunities.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), there were 2,841 reported employment scams in 2018, which involved a total monetary loss amounting to $1,525,168. In the first half of 2019, 1,352 reported cases of job scams resulted in monetary loss of victims amounting to $979,957.

With the prevalence of employment scams at present, it may be easy to come across a few on your job hunt online. But you can avoid becoming a statistic if you’re able to tell a legitimate offer from a fake one.

Job scam warning signs

More scammers are taking advantage of the anonymity that the internet lends to offer online job scams as legitimate and good earning opportunities – but there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.

Below are some of the most glaring red flags of employment scams.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Often unsolicited
Some fake job opportunities lure jobseekers through posts on a job board website such as Craigslist, but, in most cases, employment scams seek out victims. They often arrive whether you’re looking for a job or not. 

  • Sent through email
    There are many fake job offers that are sent directly to the victim’s email. The recruiter usually claims that they found the victim’s resume from a job board that they use.

    When this happens, make sure to scrutinise the recruiter’s email address. If they truly belong to a legitimate company or organisation, their email will use the company’s domain and never a public domain email such as Gmail or aol.

    Recruiters who represent legitimate companies typically have a company email they use to extend offers and interview invitations.

  • Phone call
    Another way scammers contact their potential victims is to call them about the “job offer” and commence an on-the-spot interview. Some even offer the job outright without going through an interview.

    Remember that companies will still require an interview no matter how perfect you seem for the role.

    If this happens to you, ask the recruiter how and where they found your profile and contact information and avoid giving any personal information – take note of the offer and the caller’s name and number and ask them to call at a later time. Meanwhile, call up the company they supposedly represent using the number from a legitimate directory or the company’s official website and verify the details that were presented to you.

  • Posted on social media
    Some scammers post job ads on social media job boards or contact potential victims through social media. Before giving away any of your information to the recruiter, ask for more details about the job opportunity they are presenting first.

Grammar and spelling mistakes
One of the most obvious red flags in an online job scam is the presence of grammatical and spelling errors.

Any legitimate organisation would have people or a department who takes care of ensuring that its name, invitation letters, job descriptions and job postings – or any other document showing its name – are free of errors. 

Guaranteed placement, high returns
One of the reasons why people fall for job scams is the promise of high pay for minimal work and a no-fuss hiring process or guaranteed placement even without an initial or sufficient interview.

But as the adage goes: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Any organisation with a legitimate offer has a hiring process and wouldn’t guarantee the position to any person without sufficient appraisal, especially if there is a lot of money at stake. However, there are also some scammers who actually push through with an interview. But instead of meeting the candidate in the office or any professional setting, job interviews happen in a house or questionable location that has nothing to do with the company.

Job details are unclear
A common feature of job hiring scams is that details about the job and company are often ambiguous or the recruiter holds off information with regard to the job posting you’re supposedly being hired for. When you try to search online for more information, you don’t usually find a phone number and office address – other than a P.O. Box – in any business directory and are simply directed to more job postings. 

In the event that the recruiter provides a website, it also contains vague information or there are no other sources of information that can corroborate the information contained in the site. In many cases, only job postings show up in search results when you search Google for more information about the company and the job. 

Unusual fees
Genuine employment opportunities don’t ask its candidates to pay for placement, starter, training and other fees associated with the opportunity that would help expedite the hiring process.

On that note, legitimate organisations and companies don’t require candidates to provide their credit report even if it is acquired through a free service or they promise to reimburse the candidate once the credit report is submitted to the company.

Job postings and recruiters that ask candidates to provide financial information tend to be associated with money laundering  schemes and similar illegal financial operations. In some cases, the recruiter steals from the candidate using the details the applicants provide. In other cases, they make use of the candidates’ bank details to illegally transfer money.

Recruiter asks for personal information
Another red flag is when recruiters ask for personal information (i.e. social security numbers) and bank documents right away after an initial contact or interview with the candidate.

While it’s natural to give certain personal information so that employers can pay their employees’ benefits, scammers ask for sensitive information for a different reason. Many online hiring scams serve as a way for scammers to carry out identity theft.

Identity theft is damaging to the real person both professionally and financially as many scammers apply for a credit card, loan and other financial products under the victim’s name. The victim then ends up with the financial burden because their authentic information is used for those accounts.

What to do when job scammers target you

If you’ve been contacted by a recruiter and you sense several red flags about them and/or the job they are offering, it’s best to hold off on making any decision about the offer. Ask them to give you a day or two to think about it and, if they insist on your immediate decision or else you’d lose the opportunity, turn it down immediately – pressure tactics are a sure sign that it’s a scam.

If you’re not entirely sure if you’re being scammed and you were given some time to think about the offer, consider doing a quick research and verification.

Research
Open up your browser and do a quick Google search on the company, opportunity and recruiter.

You should be able to find the company’s website – even if it is a start-up – as well as more information about the company and what it does. If all you find about the company and opportunity are job ads, consider it a glaring sign that you’re being scammed.

However, there are also scammers who create convincing websites because they are aware that some potential victims do their research. Luckily, there are free domain age checkers online that can determine a domain’s credibility by checking its age, history and activity.

Verify
You still need to be vigilant before offering your information or accepting an opportunity. Both the job and recruiter may be fake, but, in some cases, a fake recruiter may simply be pretending to be an employee of a legitimate company by using a real job advertisement.

The best way to know if you’re looking at a legitimate job offer is to contact the company and ask about the recruiter and/or the job opportunity being offered.

Report
Once you have verified that an online job opportunity is a scam, report the job posting and recruiter to the proper authorities. Make sure to note details about the scam and scammer so that you can provide necessary information.

  1. Report the false job advertisement to the owner or manager of the site that the scammer posted in. The site should take down the false ads and even block the poster from using its services again.
  2. Report details of the fraudulent job offer to the ACCC through its SCAMwatch website.
  3. Report the scam to the company that the recruiter is mimicking, if any. This should help them be aware that the business is being used to scam people. Once aware, businesses usually release a public warning against the reported scam.

Explore Nest Egg to learn more about spotting scams.

Job scam warning signs: How to spot an online hiring scam
How to spot an online hiring scam
nestegg logo

Forward this article to a friend. Follow us on Linkedin. Join us on Facebook. Find us on Twitter for the latest updates
Rate the article
author image

About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

From the web

Recommended by Spike Native Network

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Copyright © 2019 MOMENTUM MEDIA