It’s no wonder that most job seekers spend a lot of time searching and applying for jobs online. Unfortunately, many of them fall victim to online scams and fake job offers that request their personal information or money or invite them for an interview only to get them into their illegal drug marketing business.
On the one hand, employment scams are nothing new. You’ve probably encountered spam job offers in your inbox at some point and often it’s rather easy to tell whether it’s the real deal. However, modern fraudsters are constantly improving their techniques and technologies, adapting new approaches – in short, doing everything to make it difficult for you to tell that the invitation is scam. And if you fall for it, you risk losing a great deal of time or even some of your life savings.
Fortunately, if you’re careful enough, there are some ways to identify scam job invitations and to avoid such waste of time and money. So here are some red flags that you should look out for before you apply for the job:
The message does not bear the company name
If all you see is the address, the time and a phone number, don’t go for it. Genuine companies will not hide their identity from their potential employers. Another red flag is if the email bears the name of an existing company that has a “no-vacancies-available” or “beware-of-scammers-using-our-name” message on its official website (so take your time and google it before you reply!)
The message comes from a free email account
An old trick worth reminding. Nearly any recruiter that corresponds from a free email account (such as yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail etc.) is very likely a fraudster. A legitimate job offer from a trusted company would most likely come from a corporate email account.
You get an instant job offer
Remember: patience is a virtue, haste makes waste. When you send your CV to a legitimate employer, you have to wait a few days… sometimes even up to a week or two, until the deadline for applications is closed, the CVs checked and applicants selected. Scammers know you want to hear back from the employer as soon as possible and send you an invitation for an interview within minutes of getting your CV and cover letter. So if you send your job request at 9am and get a positive response at 9:07, well… don’t bother.
You receive offers for jobs you did not apply for
That is not always true because who knows? Chances are you might be among those lucky professionals whose CV was really picked up by a decent legitimate employer! However, if you’re a young graduate trainee, or if you’ve never posted your CV online, and what you get is an exceptionally tempting offer promising N 450,000 monthly for a starter then well… you understand.
You are being offered some “extra training” for money
The golden rule for someone who doesn’t want to be scammed is: NEVER PART WITH YOUR MONEY! The internet is full of stories from job seekers who were invited to write an “aptitude test” to find out whether they were qualified for the desired job and then offered some “extra training” for “only” N 2,000 or N 5,000 (in some cases, the price went up to N 10,500).
They were assured that it was a small price considering they would make at least N 225,000 a month once they’ve finished the training. Guess what? Naturally, they’re still unemployed. And while this trick seems to be really old-fashioned, do not overestimate the power of some manipulation techniques. Hell yes we know you’re smart and that would never ever happen to you… But please just keep in mind: a job is for MAKING money, not for paying it!
Your employer is on the notorious “419 scams” list
That goes without saying. If you start googling and see a similar job offer on a list of fake job scams, run for your life. Or simply don’t contact them. Ever.
While this list is certainly not complete, here are some fake agencies and addresses you definitely have to avoid:
-PMO Recruiting Agency
– Esther breakthrough online
– Adesen Consulting
– Platinum Parking Management Consulting
– Fraudsters pretending to recruit people on behalf of “Shell” (while there is a warning on the real “Shell’s” website that they never charge any money at any point in the recruitment process)
– Scammers pretending to recruit workers on behalf of CHEVRON Nigeria Ltd. (and charging N 10,500 for that)
To be continued…
So, take your time, cheer up and remember that everything comes to him, who waits, respects himself and checks jobs offers carefully. And if you were scammed once… still keep your head up. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and your dream job might still be just round the corner. Meanwhile, you can share your story on JiJi …and we’ll see what we can make of it together!