Here at JobHunters we have come across more than our fair share of employment scams. We constantly have people signing up as “employers” and trying to contact our candidates with all manner of get rich quick schemes.
Because we screen all employers first (and their emails/questions) we can catch and veto these scammers before they ever reach our valuable members.
Some scams are fairly harmless, others are downright criminal. Here are some of the more common schemes.
This is where you are offered the chance to make money, just by receiving a deposit into your bank account and then transferring it to another account. Make no mistake though, this is not a legitimate way to earn money.
Money Mules may be subject to criminal prosecution.
Bogus job offers
Sometimes scammers will pose as a real company and even post jobs on legitimate job sites. Often even a convincing telephone interview will take place once the applicant has sent in their CV and details.
After the applicant has been told they have the job, they are often asked to pay travel fees or similar costs in advance, however – you guessed it! Once the money has been sent through, little or no trace will ever be found of the hiring party.
Bogus job offer II – Identity theft
In recent times, bogus job offers have started appearing that do nothing more than take personal information and then onsell it to a third party – or use the details for identity theft.
Be extremely wary of these scammers as they can look and sound very convincing.
Envelope Stuffing Scam
One of my all time favourites, the envelope stuffing scam. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for watching TV and having a bit of fun at the same time?
Well think again, there is no such thing as getting paid hundreds or thousands of dollars a week for envelope stuffing. Often the company will require you to send a small fee along with a stamped self addressed envelope. Once received, they then stuff that envelope with the same ad they placed and send it back to you, advising you to take out the same ad in your local paper!
Bear in mind that if they were a legitimate business they would not be asking you to pay them money for the honuor of working for them.
How to protect yourself against Employment and other scams
It always pays to be on the alert, so here are some tips to help you weed out the good from the bad when it comes to work/job offers.
Email address – Does the company proposing to hire you (or take your money) have a company email address – or is it a Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail etc, that could have been set up by anyone?
Website – Do they have a proper website? Don’t be fooled by imitations – does it have phone numbers that work along with legitimate email, contacts, etc?
Are they asking for money? – If they are, stop right here and remember that this is highly unusual no matter how good the reason sounds.
Google it – Whatever email or job listing that you are looking at, copy and paste the body of the text into Google. You will then quickly see if this is a commonly used scam that you should be steering well clear of!
Contact – Can you pick up the phone and talk to them, or is it all via email? If you can’t talk to them, you will likely never hear from them again once they get what they want. If they are a reputable company and employer, you should be able to find out a great deal about them online. Even small companies have some sort of internet presence these days.
In conclusion, if they have a proper email address, website, a phone number that you can contact them on, they don’t show up on search engines as spammers and they are not asking for your hard earned money up front, more than likely you are going to be ok!
Good luck and happy hunting!
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