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05 March 2024

5 red flags to help you spot fake job ads, employment agencies

By Shuchita Kapur

Advertising fake jobs or seeking cash-for-jobs are old ways that scammers use to benefit from the desperation of jobseekers.

People who are in dire need of a job wouldn’t mind looking up at anything that comes their way and fraudsters know that.

In fact, they understand this trait quite well and intend to fully leverage it when they set out to dupe people.

You may be actively looking for a job, but it will help if you’re alert and look out for these red flags to avoid loss or money or information – that can only add to your misery.

#1 Avoid forwarding your CV to sundry e-mails

There are many e-mails that you get in your mailbox advertising jobs without asking for anything in return.

Most candidates believe since there is no monetary transaction involved, it is harmless to e-mail their covering letters and CVs.

Where they go wrong is in understanding that their CV includes a lot of personal information.

If the sender of the e-mail is a fraudster, he can easily use your information to build a database, which can later be used to send fake messages, fraudulent e-mails, or in the worst-case scenario, create a fake ID card that can be used in illegal transactions.

So, the first rule is to avoid sending your CV to any e-mail you get and dig further to understand the authenticity of the sender/recruiter.

#2 Know thy potential recruiter

Most companies when looking for candidates will either post the vacancies on their own website or advertise with a reputed recruiter, or an online job portal.

It’s rare that a company will actually send job e-mails to individuals unless you’ve been interviewed before and your CV is in their database.

You should be aware of such things. If you’ve been interviewed with the company before and know the manager who has sent you the e-mail, go ahead by all means.

But if the e-mail comes from nowhere, look for red flags and it’s quite possible you will get to know the truth in perhaps less than two minutes.

The easiest way is to Google the sender (company or recruiter).

Try and search for the name of the company advertising such openings. Get information such as mode of business, address, phone numbers and the website of the company.

If there is nothing to be found on the Internet in today’s age, it is highly likely it’s a bogus job scam.

#3 Check with friends and colleagues

It’s a small world we live in. If you are still unsure about the authenticity of the job e-mail or advert, always fall back on friends, colleagues and all those in your network.

It’s quite possible that someone you know has gone through the same problem and, in this case, he will be happy to share it with you. So, ask – and remember to spread the word.

#4 Go with reputable agencies

It is advisable to go with reputed recruiters/agencies in the job market.

Most reputed recruitment agencies are registered entities and they will only advertise jobs that are available.

The numerous shackled ones should be avoided for they are in business for short-term to fleece candidates.

#5 Never ever pay to get a job

This is the most common thing that an unscrupulous recruitment agency will do. They will ask for money from the candidates and promise them a job.

Commitment fee, caution fee, processing fee, test fee, allocation fee or placement fee – if this is said to you, it’s a sure sign that it’s a fraud activity.

No reputed recruiter will demand any sum from the candidate.

Recruitment agencies get their commission from the company they are working for and not the candidate.

So, avoid it completely if an agency says it needs you to cough up ‘registration fees’ or ‘file charges’ or any such gimmick, however small the amount may seem to be.

[Image via Shutterstock]