26 Feb How to avoid an employment scam
It was recently brought to our attention that one of our candidates had been victim to one of the latest recruitment scams. In light of this we wanted to inform you of the ways to recognise these scams and how to prevent it from happening to you.
- You are offered the position outright without ever having gone for an interview or having spoken to a person on the phone. If you receive an email that says you have been offered the job with a start date- but no company name or profile, this is a red flag. No company will realistically employ you off your CV alone, never having met you.
- There is a monetary transfer involved. In South Africa it is prohibited by law to charge someone to find them a job. The second that someone asks you for money, without ever having met you, we would advise you to think twice! This includes payment of registration fees or background checks.
- Look at the email address and website – are they legitimate? The one way of telling if it is a fake site or address, is to look critically at the email or website address- not just the display name that they are using. If they have used a made-up company name or number, Google them and do some research. Does the website look roughly put together and not professional? When you search their details do multiple sites come up referring to them or is it just the one site that they have created? If it is genuine company they will have a footprint and presence on the web.
- What do the documents they send you look like? Are they professional with a letterhead and logo? If not, I would start to question it. If they have provided you with contact details try and get hold of them and ask to speak to their HR department. If there are only cell phone numbers provided, see if you can get a landline number.
- They refer you to a second party that will do the background checks. There is a new scam were they refer you to a second party for background checks, but the second party is part of the scam, and once you pay your money, the job and company cease to exist.
- Lastly, if you have fallen victim to one of these scams – don’t beat yourself up or feel ashamed, they are designed in such a way that they know how to get money out of you. By targeting job seekers, they know that their target market is one that is desperate and it is in this desperation that we sometimes don’t always make the most rational decisions – it’s part of being human. The best thing you can do going forward is to speak up and to make people around you aware of how you were scammed. Alert people to the names of the companies who scammed you so you can bring more awareness to how these scammers are operating.
If you have ever been scammed by a fake recruitment agency, get in touch- we want to hear your story: firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, feel free to let us know if you have any other hints and tips you can pass on – the more light we shed on this subject the better.
Article by Chrissi Preuss, Psychology (Hons.) – February 2020