According to tomorrowmakers.com, around 12 million Indian youth has been entering the job market every year. As the number of graduates increases, so is the increase in the number of candidates vying for the same position. Fly by night placement agencies and spoofers are at the peak of the scam listings. Many scammers have been defrauding thousands of job seekers across India. They used to promise the candidates with dubious or non-existent employment.
A few weeks ago, an advertisement circulated multiple rounds on social media and WhatsApp groups. Their advertisement meant to focus on the engineering graduates for a particular position in IT major Infosys. When the respective number has been contacted, the person more specifically a woman on the other end, claimed to be the director of Infosys. The person added that she needs around 10,000 candidates.
Added, she trapped the candidate by asking them to deposit an initial amount of 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh based upon their roles. She claimed that the money is just a security deposit and will be refunded after the training session. On a soft move, she guaranteed free food and accommodation for the candidates in Mysuru. She demanded an immediate deposit of the quoted amount in her account. She continued doing the same process and duped many graduates.
On November 16, the same person had organized a mega job event in a hotel at Madurai. On a trip off, she has been caught and arrested. This is one in multiple scam cases which illustrates the modus operandi of the scammers. Not only for the IT job roles, but the scammers have also been focusing on several job types.
Common job Scam types
Scammers are very creative. And, thus it does not end up with the listed job types. The list continues. There are multiple scams including real job openings online. Sometimes, there will be a great difference in online job scams and legitimate job openings. It seems to a bit difficult to identify the difference between the real and the scam job postings. Scammers now have become more sophisticated with the new ways that allow them to take advantage of the job seekers all the time.
The common job scam types have been enlisted below.
- Data entry scams
- Recruitment scams
- Pyramid Marketing
- Unsolicited Job offers
- Career advancement grants
- Money laundering scams
- Financial job scams
- Unemployment scams
- Fake Recruiter scams
Signs of a job scam for easy identification
Scammers have different purposes to approach a particular candidate. Either they will collect the confidential information to use as identity theft and they make the information for cash fraudulent checks. Job scams are usually visible in job posting sites, forums, and social networking sites too. In other cases, scammers will directly approach the candidates through unsolicited emails. It is not that all emails are a scam. But, it is rather important to be vigilant and forecheck the job in which the candidate has been interested. Make sure that the job posting is legitimate.
In order to forecheck whether the particular job is a scam or not, here are the common warning signs useful for the candidates.
Supposed Job Offer In Mails From An Employer, Recruiter, And Job Board
Many mail claims are due to the resumes found on Monster and other job posting sites. The mail conveys the candidate that they are the right candidate for the particular job opportunity. The candidate may not be aware of the job posting and may not even familiar with the particular employer’s name. In some cases, the employer’s name will be familiar to the candidate.
The mail requests the candidate to send them the personal information for a pre-employment check. They make it necessary to complete the candidate’s application which takes the process ahead to on-boarding. The scammers expect the candidates to give sensitive information including a copy of their driving license, social security number, and bank account number.
Added, the logos and names can be borrowed easily from websites. Hence, the candidates have to check the email address. Do not trust the From: address as it can be spoofed through email software. For example, if you are getting an email from a recruiter or an employer, it is necessary to cross-check their mail id. If they are from the real recruiting background, their mail id will carry their company’s domain name instead of gmail.com or yahoo.com.
Fake Jobs On Social Media
Fake jobs on social media are the newest venue for job scams. As we already know, no social media is immune or perfectly safe. It is necessary to be cautious of jobs and recruiters you find on social media. Many fake Facebook pages exist portraying multiple opportunities that have been shared and promoted. Even a few legitimate Facebook pages contain a few dubious jobs. The popular professional media LinkedIn also falls into the prey of the scammers. To curb this, LinkedIn does eliminate fake profiles and provide limited access.
In Twitter, the users will see the shortened bit.ly or ow.ly link from both real and fake accounts. Those shortened links can lead the person anywhere. So, it is necessary to keep up the shields up on Twitter too. To avoid falling into the trap, it is necessary to verify the recruiter and the employers’ social media accounts. Check out their activities in it. Before applying, Google out the employers’ name and the respective company. Keep a step away on instances when the employer name claims to be a well-known one or when the recruiting company’s social media account has fewer followers.
Legitimate Job Boards with Bogus Jobs
Candidates commonly believe in the job offers posted on the legitimate job posting sites including Indeed, Monster, and others. Frankly, it is not advisable to trust all the job offers posted on those sites. With the exceptions of government jobs, it is necessary to double-check whether the job board is legitimate or a scam.
It is a common fact that an employer or a scammer who pays for a job posting in a particular job board must be legitimate. But, it is not. They may be scamming the job board too. Nowadays, the people who ought to run job posting sites have to investigate properly about the employer and make sure that they do not allow fake jobs. Unfortunately, not all the job posting sites do a great job of vetting employers. In a few circumstances, even the job board gets fooled by the scammers.
Job requirements and Job description will be vague
Scammers are very clever in making sound emails that satisfy the need of the applicant. The mail usually contains the list of job requirements that insist on simple eligibility criteria. Few common eligibility criteria include:
- Candidate must be a citizen of India
- Must be 18 years old
- Must have computer knowledge
In particular, those scam emails will not include the years of education or experience the candidate must have. As a thumb rule, if it is real recruitment, then the requirements will be clear and specific. Few emails will mention the role and fail to provide a proper job description.
Few scam emails are well framed, but many aren’t that case. Real companies used to hire professionals whose verbal and written communication is well. If the email contains spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or grammatical errors, then step into the guard shoes. It is time to investigate more about the company.
Added to this, email phishing is the longstanding and dangerous method which the scammers used to take into account. Here are the common phishing signs handled by the scammers.
- Rather than the recruiters’ company domain, the mail will be sent using public domain
- At cases, the domain name will be misspelled
- The email will be in a poor language
- It may contain any suspicious attachments or links
- The particular scam mail may create a sort of urgent recruitment
Search results will not add up!!
Before agreeing for the interview, the candidates have to research about the particular company. If it is a real company, the candidate may end up with some valuable information about it. Some scammers pretend to have real companies. Citing the fact in balancecareers.com, one of the site’s readers have received a job offer from “Proctor and Gambel” company. After her research, she found that the company’s name is “Procter & Gamble”. She identified the offer to be a scam and thus neglected it before falling into their trap.
Hence, the candidate has to search for such information related to the company’s logo, brand name, and other essential things to forecheck whether the respective recruitment is real. While searching for such information, it is necessary to check both the company’s name and the email address. It is necessary to copy/paste paragraphs from the email into the search box. Because there are chances that the scammers may change the company name but reuse the content. Hence, it is possible to find out the identical email when posted online.
Sending money to the scammer’s bank account
In a few instances, the recruiters have received the checks that look like the real cashier’s checks. The candidates are instructed to deposit checks on the banks or either they are instructed to transfer some sort of money to their bank account. The recent Infosys issue portrays the same situation. In other cases, the scammers used to ask the personal account details of the candidate. Both cases come under the money laundering case. And, it is actually against the law.
When a candidate feels that he/she has been fooled or trapped by the scam, try to avoid as much as you can. If this happens again, report it with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. It takes reports on all kinds of scams. This helps other people to avoid becoming a victim of the same scam.
Modus Operandi of the scammers
For many job scammers, online job portals are the popular haunt to find prey. Here are the popular modus operandi of the scammers.
Scammers start to post their recruitment advertisements through social media thereby quoting the job offer under “quick cash”, “golden opportunity”. These terms will lure the victims to provide their personal information. Without the victim’s knowledge, their identity has been used for multiple financial scams.
Some fraudsters recruit job seekers for full-time or part-time jobs top IT MNC companies. They will paste a job offer post through the internet or social media. Bulk scam emails are the trump card for the scammers to make candidates fall into their prey. The job seekers will be required to pay deposits or handling fees in advance. After the payments, the candidates will lose contact from the scammers.
In short, the following points are the common modus operandi of the scammers.
- Scammers will access the candidates’ profile through sources including job recruitment site
- Mass emails will be sent to potential candidates with minimum eligibility criteria and attractive salary
- Scammers post them as a recruiter or job consultants and set up temporary offices
- Once a candidate takes the initial step by responding to the mail, the scammers ask the candidates to deposit a security amount which will be retained after their training period
- Rather than direct interviews, online or telephonic interviews will be conducted
- Fake appointment letters will be issued at last
Who falls into the scammers’ prey?
As scammers are clever enough to tackle their prey does not mean that every engineering graduate is their target. Scammers target circle pinpoints the engineering graduates present in tier 2 and tier 3 cities mainly. They used to target the graduates who have graduated from the less familiar colleges around the city. The scammers try to offer all kinds of IT jobs and even government jobs as well. Due to job hunger, the graduates fail to analyze the source and the legitimacy of the company or the mail they ought to receive.
Employers who run a basic job search scam may make the candidate stay in a supplicant mode. They will make the candidate forget that there are multiple choices. Even the temptation created by the job scam makes candidates blindly believe that they are lucky to get part in the job event. Job seekers fall into the scam due to the fear of being unemployed and unwanted.
How do they approach and convince the target?
According to Forbes.com, almost 90% of the candidates fall for the job search scam. Only ten percent of the people are awake and aware of the job scams. Most of them fall into the prey of the scam unknowingly. Though they are smart enough to clear graduation with top grades, they fail in identifying whether the job is real or scam.
With the help of technology, scammers find it too easy to target the graduates. Their list of targets evolves in different genres of individuals who are in search of the job through new tools, robocalls, remote interviews on Skype, etc. The scammers are well aware of the mentality of the graduates. Due to the mischief actions performed by the scammers, the graduates also fail to recognize the real job recruitment opportunity approaching them.
How to avoid or escape from job scammers?
As the number of graduates from engineering colleges has been increasing yearly, the number of jobs for them also tends to increase. But, it is necessary to identify the real job recruitment from the scams. Technology and other aspects have made us stand at the edge of the cliff where every individual has to be cautious in taking any mere step ahead. Many individuals are unaware of how to avoid or get rid of the job scammers. Here is the checklist which helps in avoiding graduates from getting into the trap of the scammers.
- Go to the authentic, official website
- Search through reputable channels
- Stick to job opportunities which you have applied and searched on your own
- Post CVs for specific job listings
- Look for red flags in mail/letter
- Validate mail by calling firms
Go to the authentic, official website
When the individual came to know about particular job openings, contact the company to verify whether the recruitment is true. The individual can also cross-check whether the concerned person belongs to their recruiting team. If you have been witnessing a post related to the Train and Hire model, check whether they are official partners with the company for which they are recruiting graduates. It is also necessary to check their candidate placement records. Mazenet has a placement record that enrolls around 126,999+ placed candidates and 150,000 trained candidates.
Train and Hire model is the upcoming recruitment model mostly opted by multiple MNC companies. Knowing it clearly, scammers have been trapping the graduates by using employment as the trunk card. If an individual receives any job offer from a particular company, check them up with the contact number available on Google. If possible, visit them in person.
Search through reputable channels
While an individual encounters a job post, look at all specifications mentioned in it. Check job postings available through the secured sites. Approach the company and clarify your doubts regarding the particular job posting. The reputable and experienced organizations mostly let you know all the procedures without any mirror in between. So, you can get a clear idea about the procedures and the process inculcated in their recruitment.
Stick to job opportunities which you have applied and searched on your own
There are instances when you are contacted through phone or email regarding the job offer. It is necessary to inquire about their company’s name in order to check whether it is from a safe zone. If you feel something phishing, do not respond to it. Few people promise the candidates to provide a job with endless commitments. If it is too legitimate, check before you acknowledge them.
Post CVs for specific job listings
Though you wish to get any sort of job, do not post your CV in every job listing. Stick toward the particular job posting which you are interested in. Prepare the CV and cover letter according to the specific job post. If you are a fresher, then choose the role according to your domain and respond only to those offers which you have applied for. Avoid applying for job posts with vague and generic designations.
Look for red flags in mail/letter
It is necessary to scan the letter minutely using Red Flags. It is a good exercise to ward off scammers who ought to approach you. The candidates also have to glance at the format of the letter, spelling mistakes, poor syntax or wrong spacing as well.
Validate mail by calling firms
It is necessary to clear all the doubts about the offer or the appointment letter. Just call up the company by picking their registered number. Check whether the mailed person exists in the concern and is the vacancy for the job is true or not. Conduct proper research about the company before applying for a particular job.
Finding the right job can be a taxing task. But falling into the prey of the scammers is even worse than that. Unfortunately, many scammers find job seekers’ life as “happy hunting ground”. Do not let that happen in your career. Take time to search and analyze the job offer before you proceed further. Make sure that the employer is credible and it is a legitimate organization.