Trying to find a job can be stressful and frustrating enough not to say time-consuming. Tweaking your CV, scanning vacancies and listings and prepping for interviews, will take up most of your time so the last thing you need is to spend time applying for fake jobs listed online. That’s why it’s important that you learn how to spot them quickly.
The motive behind the scams
While some fake job ads are coming straight up from con artists, others are often just created for research on the job market to help with negotiations with real applicants. Since it’s unacceptable to ask certain questions about a job, companies use this roundabout way of obtaining the information they are after. In other instances, fake ads will allow the scammer to collect useful data about anyone applying for the ‘job’.
So, what are the basic warning signs that a job position being advertised is a fake?
1. No online presence
A legitimate company will always have some online presence so if you can’t find anything at all on the company advertising a job, you can stop right there and move away as something is not quite right.
2. Too good to be true
Jobs that promise the world and seem too good to be true are a dime a dozen. That’s because they’re the easiest way to reel in unsuspecting applicants. If a job seems too good to be true, it is very likely that it is too good to be true.
3. No experience necessary
If the leading line in a job vacancy is ‘No experience needed’ you can be sure that there’s a catch as most jobs look for some experience no matter how basic.
4. Pay upfront
This is one of the surest signs of a scam. If a recruiter asks for money before you even go for an interview, then something fishy is usually going on. If you’re asked to pay anything – such as a fee to apply or for a software program with which to send in your application materials – consider the job a scam. As a general rule of thumb, never give your money away to total strangers you meet on the internet.
5. No face to face interview
Alarms bells should ring if your first interview is scheduled to take place via a chat. While remote interviews are becoming increasingly common, that means phone calls and Skype, not a typed conversation in a chat window.
6. Sloppy language and clear details
Another sure red alert is if the ad isn’t well written, or it contains spelling or grammatical errors or is simply sloppily written. A real job posting will be professional and polished and will outline the position and all that comes with it clearly. If the wording leaves you more confused than before, walk away.
7. Data protection
Stay alert for any business asking you for personal details such as bank details. No business worth its reputation will ask for such details until you’ve interviewed in person and been accepted for the job.