Is your Job Offer Fake or Real? 7 Ways to Detect Fake Job Scams

Fake and Real jobs

Almost all of us depend on job posting websites/ job portals for our job search and might have even signed up to explore the opportunities available. Once you sign up, quite a few job details are shared with you through phone messages and emails, most of which are automated.

But the picture above is not as rosy as it seems, because there are many fake recruiters and con men who use these job portals for their fraud practices. With the exciting job opportunities, comes the probability of accepting a hoax job posting as well. Such fake postings through fraud credentials and malignant intentions have been a concern for all job seekers.

The job market is difficult enough to operate without getting anxious about some posting turning out to be fraud. Save your valuable time and energy by being vigilant about a few simple signs.

fake vs real jobs

Here are a few tips to help you differentiate between real and fake job ads:

  • They ask you to call on a special-rate phone number: Quite a few fraud job ads demand the job seeker to make a call on the special-rate phone number in order to obtain further information. When you call, they will intentionally keep the duration of the call as long as possible by interrogating candidates to gather more information, so as to increase the cost of the call.
  • You will be rich if you work from home: Post-Covid, almost every job – and well-paying jobs as well, have moved to a WFH model. Keeping WFH as a reference, many job openings guarantee huge earnings in a small period and ask you to make an upfront investment for the same.
  • Fake employment portals:  With the increase in web presence, there is an increase in the number of job websites but they are actually fake. The main agenda of such websites/ portals is to collect your personal details. They replicate the expired job postings published in known job portals like Naukri, Monster, etc. and when you apply for such a job it takes you to an invalid link. To avoid falling into such a trap, register only on recognized employment websites.
  • Job description not written well:  A job description defines the job role and is an important document for any organization. The HR Department takes a keen interest in preparing it post discussion with the relevant business heads in order to attract the right talent for the role.If you observe a job description that is not written professionally and has a lot of mistakes like spelling or grammatical errors, then it is your first indication that this might not be an authentic post.
  • No eligibility criteria: Eligibility Criteria is one of the important prerequisites for any job as every role requires some unique skills and education qualifications.If there is no mention of any preferred qualifications then, this is an indication that the job is fake. The posting is done to build a database, as many people will apply because there is no set eligibility criterion.
  • No Interview: Any employer who is willing to pay you, will definitely conduct an interview to check regarding the candidate’s fitment, discuss the assignment and other employment clauses before getting you on board. So, if you were not interviewed over the phone or on a video call, consider the job as fake.
  • Fake questionnaires (Mode of taking money):  This is a frequently attempted fraud. Job seekers are allured by the idea of knowing their personality and professional competence by filling the questionnaire for which some amount of money is paid by them on a returnable basis at the time of finalization of the job. But this amount is never returned in almost all cases.

Now, let’s discuss critical things one must check before you agree to take up the job:

  1. E-mail address: An important aspect which needs to be checked before accepting the offer is the communication channel of the employer. If they are communicating via email, notice whether the emails are coming from an official domain or a generic domain. For instance, an email address should likely be /.in instead of a Gmail or Yahoo address.
    1. Language of email is very critical; it should be professionally written and formatted, check for spellings and grammatical errors.
    2. Check out their Social Media presence and whether they have their own website

      Looking out for the above pointers assists in knowing what kind of work the Company has done in the past. Also, cross check the postal address and telephone numbers given on the website.
  1. Is there a face to the name you are speaking to?

    Search for the credentials of the person you are in touch with, in the Social Media pages, especially on LinkedIn. Most of the genuine professionals would be available there. Also, look at their network which would give you an idea about the credibility of the individual.
  1. Work schedule/ guidelines

    All jobs online or offline have got some guidelines/schedule to be followed. For example, deadlines of project, how many hours to log in a day, reporting structure etc. If your job doesn’t provide you such guidelines then something is fishy, you should get the signal and ask for the details.

    Searching a genuine online job is as tough as finding a real office job. One has to put in efforts and do a proper check to get them. And, if you use your common sense, you will definitely find one for yourself.

Follow these steps to rule out your suspicion: 

  • Question employers to get the details about the company. If they are not comfortable, don’t be interested in the job any further. If they provide you with the name of the company, make an attempt to call the reception and check if they have that particular opening. 
  • If any payment is required to be made in a particular job, tell them you will pay once you are confirmed for the role. Genuine recruiters/consultants don’t generally ask for payments but still, if they have some process which needs to be followed, they will consider your request, as compared to fake recruiters. 
  • Always make a habit of doing an online transaction, ask for the account details of the respective company. Scammers avoid taking bank transfers and don’t even have a registered company.
  • Seek authentic receipts if you are convinced to pay any kind of fee. Ensure to look for tax numbers and other details online.

Despite all that, if you still have been deceived, contact the website on which the ad was published.
I hope that you would found this information useful. Now you know what needs to be done and be careful not to fall victim to such tricksters.

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