How to Spot an Online Job Scam

The Internet has made job hunting and hiring easier in more ways than one. A decade or so ago, one would have to buy the paper every day to check the classified ads section for jobs that suit them. You may also have to go door-to-door to ask companies whether they’re currently hiring. Meanwhile, recruiters will often have to wait for walk-in applicants and for the phone to ring, hoping someone has seen their printed job ads.

Nowadays, it’s easy for job hunters to look for jobs and opportunities online. They can create online resumes and profiles on job boards and portals, which allows them to apply to jobs instantly. These portals also connect recruiters to potential candidates by allowing them to post job ads and reach out to members of the platform.

Companies can also have a special section on their website or social media page to showcase their job openings.

However, with the Internet so easily accessible, how does a job hunter like you ensure that the ad you’re applying to is legit? Have you ever come across an ad that made you wonder if it’s real or scam? 

More often than not, your gut is right. To help you validate your hunch, here are ways to spot an online job scam.

It’s too good to be true

This cliche applies to practically all aspects of life. If the job’s offer is too good to be true, it most probably is. Here are some signs that the job might be a scam and you need to dig deeper to know if it’s legit or not:

  • The pay is ridiculously high. Sure, you want a good-paying job, but if the ad says you can earn a thousand dollars by simply working a few hours, be wary.
  • The recruiter contacts you out of nowhere. While some recruiters reach out to job hunters who have their profiles posted on job portals, you can quite tell a legitimate recruiter from a sham. If the person calling you cannot disclose where they got your number, and they can’t discuss the job clearly, take it as a red flag.
  • You get “hired” too quickly. If you get instantly hired after a quick phone call or chat “interview”, this job may not be as you think it is.

The job description and requirements are too vague

Scammers try their best to make their emails look believable by listing down job qualifications and requirements. Typically, these requirements are too basic that everyone will practically pass: at least 18 years old, must have Internet access, and must be a citizen with legal qualifications to work in the country. The so-called job description will not describe what the job entails. Some would even fail to mention education and experience requirements.

The company name and contact details can’t be found online

When you browse job ads, you probably search the company online to learn more about it. What if you can’t find any information about the company? It’s possible that they’re operating or advertising using a different name, but why? Is there something they’re trying to hide? 

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. If you’re looking for jobs in the Philippines or abroad, sign up now and start applying!

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

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