6 Common job scams and how to avoid them


Job hunting can be such a daunting task. It often leaves job seekers emotionally and financially drained. To add insult to injury, Job scammers often see this as an opportunity to make money off desperate or ignorant jobseekers. It is important for job seekers to learn how to spot a job scam to avoid wasting time and other resources. The following are six  common scams that you should be aware of and how you can protect yourself:

  1. Data entry scams

You may have come across a data entry vacancy that requires minimal skills and qualifications, yet promise high pay and attractive terms and conditions. The trick always comes at the application stage where a fee is charged to take a certain test or to purchase mandatory items. If this is the case, you should not consider the job as it is most likely a scam

Legit companies do not charge job applicants at any stage of the recruitment process. Legitimate expenses such as uniform purchases should be charged once you get the job and ideally should be deducted from the salary.

  1. Pyramid marketing 

This kind of job scam is very popular. A job seeker is supposed to recruit new members and lure them to pay some upfront fees so as to earn a commission. The more people you recruit, the higher the commission. It is important to know that only the top-level members benefit from this arrangement.

This type of business model is sketchy and unsustainable. At some point, the product that you are advertising might not be viable or even available hence the need to use a chain of distributors to show legitimacy. Also, you might not get as many recruits as you want leading to money loss in the long run as one uses their own resources to recruit. 

To prevent such from happening, One should simply not participate in any promotion or job hunt activity that appears to be a pyramid scheme.

  1. Unsolicited job offers

Have you ever received a job scam email in the past?  Unsolicited job offers usually come in the form of a job offer direct to your email.  Some of the red flags to look out for in such an email include; the email address used? is it from the company’s domain? is the email addressed to you? and  Had you applied for the job? Most job seekers are lured to reply and even share personal information. Some even end up paying a small fee to hasten the process. The aftermath is always regrettable. 

To avert this problem, you should always conduct due diligence before sharing any personal data with recruiters. Verify all the facts stated before you think of replying to that email. Go to the companies website and check if they have the said vacancy. Visit LinkedIn and look up the recruiter who sent the email. Finally, always trust your gut especially if you feel something is off.

  1. Phishing schemes

When job hunting, you always come across online job listings from well-known companies and organizations. From the look of things, the vacancy ad. appears to be from a reputable organization until you have a closer and clear look at the URL. Scammers usually pick images and create a site that mimics that of a legitimate company.

 Once you notice this, you should not apply for a job on that site. Avoid sharing any data as it might be used to perform crime and other illegal activities. Always take time and analyze the website’s URL. You can also report the fake website to Google to help mitigate this problem.

  1. Recruitment agency scam

Recruitment and placement agencies play an important role in helping job seekers get employment. However, cases of unethical recruiting practices have been on the rise. Such agencies aim to make job seekers part with some money for one reason or the other the most common one being the recruitment processing fee. This has resulted in the agencies posting fake vacancies so as to make job seekers pay the fee. 

To protect yourself from such agencies always research more on the agency before working with them. Look for reviews and profile online. Seek to know basic things such as the location of the agency In case you are being charged for the service, Negotiate to pay once you get the job using your first salary. If the Agency if recruiting on behalf of a company, there is always a company payout whereby the company pays for the  outsourced recruiting services

  1. Informal Communication process

It might sound convenient to get interviewed through a chat. However, legitimate companies rarely conduct their interviews through chats. Scammers are now using this method to lure unsuspecting people to con them. The most common is sending links during the chat session which once open exposes your computer or mobile device to viruses and malware. In most cases, Scammers hardly reveal their faces in the communication process. If you notice that a certain employer prefers that you use chats to communicate to you, do not consider that option and insist on a formal interview process

A lot of job seekers have been lured into various job scams in the past and ended up wasting time, losing money, and other resources. Before you apply do due diligence and do not be quick to share any data with anyone who claims to offer an employment opportunity. Remember if it is too good it is probably not true.

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