Job searching online has witnessed dramatic increase over the years. This trend has brought a number of benefits to job seekers and employers such as cost reduction, increased transparency and access to reliable and timely information on jobs and recruitment opportunities.
However, the problem of online job scams and Recruitment Fraud continues to prey on helpless and unsuspecting job seekers resulting in financial extortion and vital information request for identity theft.
In this post, Sobiaonline shares some useful suggestions to improve your knowledge on online job scams to help you navigate your job search with ease in Ghana and elsewhere.
WHAT IS A JOB SCAM?
A scam basically is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Based on this definition and from experience at Sobiaonline, a job scam entails the fraudulent or deceptive use of job advertisements and other career offers (Both online and offline) to lure job seekers with the sole purpose of defrauding them financially or soliciting sensitive information such as personal details, credit card information and related stuff.
Based on our encounters and existing background information on this topic, we have classified job frauds into three main forms:
The first form of Job Scam occurs online through the internet. One way this form of scam occurs is poor regulation by job boards. Job boards put in their best efforts to prevent fraudulent job listings but some smart fraudsters can still manage to publish their listings unnoticed. Another form of online scams has been on the rise on social media where scammers take advantage of unsuspecting job seekers through which they extort money and other vital information. Thirdly, there has been an increase in email spam targeting job seekers. The other growing form of online job scam is work from home job scams which has been on the increase.
The second form of Job Scam is Offline job scams. The offline job scams takes the form of physical contact with fake employers. These scams are very well organised and have received little attention as compared to the online scams.
The third form of online scam occurs as Legitimate Job Scam: This days we have legitimate companies taking advantage of job seekers by extorting monies from them. This third criteria is not quite a scam as legitimate jobs are involved, but the recruitment process is shrouded in secrecy and fraud. To give you a scenario model:
lets say company A has a job vacancy for a secretary. They advertised the opening and received 1, 000 job applications. All thousand applicants are then invited to interview where they will be tasked to pay GHC 50 per applicant in the name of processing fees. Then, all 1, 000 applicants are called back again in the name of an aptitude test and are made to pay an additional GHC 50. The procedure goes on and on until just one candidate is picked. In a scenario like this the company can make several thousands of Ghana Cedis from the recruitment of just one staff. This is a legitimate job vacancy but the recruitment process is fraudulent (Disclaimer: This is just for illustration)
Why did we take time to discuss these types of job scams? By understanding the medium in which you can be potentially scammed and the motive behind job scams, you will be in the best position to fight it. Please read further the two main motives of job scammers below:
Access to Sensitive Information
Fake adverts are used to obtain sensitive information from people. These types of jobs request very personal information including bank details, insurance numbers personal information, bank statements, passport details, and driving licenses. Once a job is requesting such sensitive information at the initial application stage you need to take caution.
For Monitory Compensation
Fraudsters ask for advancement without a cogent explanation of what the money is going to be used for. We have for instance received numerous reports in Ghana where fraudsters are requesting for money for CV upgrade as a precondition for employment. You can use this link to find out how Sobiaonline can help spice up your CV to increase your interview calls. Other reports revealed medical examination, aptitude test fees, and processing fees as some of the reasons for payments often explained by corn artist.
With this in mind, the best way to avoid job scam is to avoid making financial commitment and sharing of very sensitive information with prospective recruiters.
HOW TO AVOID JOB SCAMS
- The companies used in most cases will be genuine companies but the job will be a scam! Always contact the company if you see something suspicious about the job
- Don’t accept a job offer without an application, interview, or discussion with the employer.
- You are promised high pay for not much work? Do not accept such offers
- You are told you have to pay for training? Do further digging and ask more questions
- Do not provide personal details on your social media profiles
- Do not pay money for background checks and processing fees
- Do not pay for a job. The employer should pay you for your expertise and not the other way round.
- The interviewer should call you if it is a remote interview and not the other way round
- Don’t share sensitive information or money until you are sure the company is genuine
- Avoid job descriptions that are vague, ambitious with limited specific information about the company.
- Trust your instinct. If you are having the feeling that the job is not genuine chances are that the job is not genuine.You will need to do more research.
- Leave what you are not doubtful of and follow what you are certain off.
- Make sure the email address identifies with the company.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SCAMMED ALREADY
Contact the company and ask for your money back. You can alert relevant agencies if the company refuses to.
Make sure you provide reviews of the company on online websites as much as possible to warn other job seekers who might fall victims.
Report the matter to the police immediately, with copies of all correspondence, contact details of the fake organisation, and bank or credit card statements if you suspect that your identity may have been stolen for illegal activities.
Change your bank details if you shared your bank details with the fraudster
Report the company and the job details to the job board where this occurred to help them improve upon their listing.
We thank all job seekers who entrusted us with their information and advice on fraudulent job offers over the years. It has helped us to continuously improve our services. We hope to continue to learn and share with you
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