How to Stay Away from Job Posting Scams?

Fake employment rackets have exploded in popularity due to dwindling work opportunities in the commercial and public sectors, as well as a flood of students graduating from low-quality professional schools. India's unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in April 2019, the highest since October 2016, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. Along with the ease with which the Internet can be accessed, it has been a windfall for employment fraudsters who offer non-existent opportunities to needy adolescents.

How Do Job Posting Scams Work?

Online employment portals are a favourite hangout of most con artists looking for victims. This is how it works −

  • Job recruiting sites provide access to applicant profiles.

  • Prospective candidates were issued mass mailings.

  • Fraudsters masquerade as recruiters and put up phoney websites and temporary "offices".

  • Candidates must pay registration costs by a wallet or bank transfer.

  • Interviews are performed online or over the phone.

  • Fake appointment letters are available for purchase.

What Type of People Do Scammers Target?

Most cybercriminals who are hunting for victims use online employment sites. The following is how it works −

  • Access to candidate profiles is available on job recruitment sites.

  • A mass letter was sent to all potential candidates.

  • Phony websites and temporary "offices" are set up by fraudsters posing as recruiters.

  • Applicants must pay registration fees using a wallet or a bank transfer.

  • Interviews are conducted over the phone or online.

  • Fake appointment letters can be purchased for a little fee.

Ways in Which Job Scams Are Carried Out

Following are some of the ways that fraudsters use to carry out job posting scams to exploit vulnerable targets −

Fake Websites

To deceive candidates, duplicate websites of reputable organisations, employment portals, or government offices are established. "They then advertise false positions, administer exams, and submit results before charging successful candidates for passing the interview," explains Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice-President of TeamLease Services. Some fraudsters go so far as to build up makeshift offices, hire personnel, conduct interviews, assign appointment letters, and bill in instalments.

Campus Placements

Scammers masquerade as job recruiters and approach the chairmen of small-town colleges or institutions directly. They guarantee positions at prestigious businesses in exchange for a one-time payment. The majority of them vanish after this payment.

Phishing and Mass Mailing

This is arguably the simplest technique for criminals to discover a large number of victims (see Modus Operandi: Steps). "They scan several employment sites like Monster, Naukri, TimesJobs, and Shine to acquire access to their databases by acting as freelance job advisors," Hasan adds. They then send out mass mailers, making a lot of money even if only 5% of job searchers are duped. Typically, the mails request a security deposit, interview fee, or other fees as a condition of scheduling an interview. While some scam artists vanish as soon as they get the funds, others go so far as to perform a brief online or telephone interview before distributing a forged employment letter.

How You Can Prevent Yourself from Being a Victim of a Job Posting Scam

Take the following precautions in order to prevent yourself from being the next victim of a job posting scam −

Never pay for a job

According to Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of, "no employer demands any charge from a job-seeker at any level of the recruiting process" (APAC & Gulf). "Be wary of firms or persons who ask for fees or charges for security deposits, registration, or document verification," Mukherjee warns. This can be accomplished by using bank instruments or cash in an individual's name, as well as the use of a wire transfer. Avoid offers that ask for sensitive information such as credit card or bank account numbers, online banking passwords, and so on.

Look for the following red flags in your mail/letter

Scanning the letter minutely is an excellent activity to guard off scammers that approach you by mail (see Red Flags). "Be cautious if the email comes from a free e-mail account rather than the company's e-mail," Mukherjee warns. Also, look for flaws in the letter's format, such as spelling errors, bad grammar, or incorrect spacing. Another signal is the sender's name and signature, as well as the company's address and contact information.

Validate mail by phoning companies

If you have any questions about an offer or an appointment letter, call the company's registered telephone number. Check to see if the individual who mailed you is still alive and if the company still has an opening for the position or job you applied for. "Speak with someone at the firm to see whether the skills and qualifications they want match yours," Sharma advises. Before applying for a job, do some background study on the firm.

Be wary of employment that appears to be too wonderful to be true

It is almost certainly a bogus job if you are promised a 70-80% raise or pay that is not in accordance with market trends or with your rank and expertise. "Another sign is if you're given an offer letter without a proper interview," Mukherjee adds.

Make sure you have a personal, face-to-face interview, ideally at the company's registered address. Be on the lookout if you're summoned to a home area or a room that doesn't have any corporate signs. The interviewees' backgrounds should likewise be clearly verified.

Updated on: 03-May-2022


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