Scams have been a prevalent threat for a long time. Remember phone scams when fraudsters call their targets to swindle them out of money or information? The digital world has made it possible to reach potential victims more effectively. From fast-earning scams to job-hunting scams, fraudsters target various industries and people.
Essentially, these scammers always keep improving according to the current vulnerable subjects. Job seekers are one of the possible targets. Scammers might contact them with various offers. It might seem like a dream job for the candidate. However, scammers will soon require payments before people start working.
So, how do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim? Here are some tips on recognizing fraudulent job opportunities.
What are the types of job-hunting scams?
When it comes to job hunting, these are the latest tricks used in the market:
Pyramid scheme jobs
These are jobs that require you to recruit other people to make money. They may also need you to pay an upfront fee to become a part of their scheme. Essentially, there are clear-cut signs that an offer is a multi-level marketing scam. A prime example of this would be the controversial Amway company.
Interview scams are when you’re asked to join an interview for a job, but the interviewer is just trying to sell you something. Or the interviewer asks you to fill out extensive forms containing your personal information before they offer you the job.
It has been the fastest-growing scam since 2020. According to an F5 study, these attacks soared 220% during the pandemic. In this case, a fake email that looks like it’s from a legitimate company is sent to you, asking you to click on a link or open an attachment. These downloads or links can infect your computer with malware or give the scammer access to your personal information.
You’re offered a job in this scam, but first, you must pay for “training” or “certification.” Then, the scammers promise to recruit you according to your results after the training period.
These have become the most popular form of employment recently. But, with these increasing opportunities, scams in this sector are also increasing. In these scams, you’re promised a high-paying work-from-home job. However, after the completion of the work, no payment is given.
The fake lawyer
After you’ve given away your personal information to a fake company, they may threaten you through a lawyer stating you broke some of their agreement rules. The solution given is usually to get arrested or pay them money.
How to identify job-hunting scams?
Here are a few tips:
Never pay for anything
Apart from qualifications, it’s always the company’s job to train their employees for the type of work they need. Never fall for job listings that ask you to pay money and express that they give you this opportunity at a discounted price.
Do not reveal information to shady websites
Scammers could urge you to visit a potentially dangerous website and fill out information via it. However, the website might not be safe, and the details you provide can be exploited. One warning sign is that scammers’ websites might use HTTP instead of HTTPS.
Then, providing information becomes even more dangerous as anyone can intercept it. Therefore, it is best to download VPN services and connect to remote servers. Then, your traffic will be encrypted even on HTTP websites.
Read between the lines
Firstly, most legitimate businesses will proofread their job postings. If you see several spelling mistakes, it is a big sign of a job scam.
Secondly, be aware of eye-catching words. They sure are used to attract candidates’ attention, but the offer should not be too good. For example:
- No experience required
- Make $$$$
- Work from home – anyone can apply
Look for contact information
When you’re on the job listing page, check to see if there’s a way to contact the person who posted the job. If there’s no contact information, that’s a major red flag.
If you want to be extra sure, you can do a reverse image search on Google. Just upload the company logo or name from the job listing and see if it shows up elsewhere. If it doesn’t, that could mean the job listing is fake.
Check the date of the job posting
Usually, a company looks for potential candidates for a few weeks, especially if it needs to recruit fewer than five employees. If the post is much older, ask yourself why no one is taking up the job. Is no one up to the mark, or is it a scam?
Research the company
Check for reviews online or see if you know anyone who works there. A legitimate company should have an online presence. Don’t fall for recruiters who say they cannot reveal the company’s name due to their commission. Always double-check with the company if they have assigned the same person for recruitment and if that position exists.
Don’t give away personal information
If you’re not sure who you’re talking to, don’t give away personal information like your social security number or bank account information.
Always trust your gut; if something feels off, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to say no or walk away from a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. Always keep yourself updated regarding recent scam news. It can help you think twice and save you from falling prey.