Searching for a job can be difficult enough, but when you finally spot the ‘job of a lifetime’ – just consider that if the job sounds too good to be true – quite likely, it is!
Imagine the job of “Designer – Developer/Applications/IT” with a tax-free salary of $120K for 6 months work.
Perks including Paid Overtime at $300 per hour, paid first-class accommodation, $3,000.00 flat rate travel/entertainment allowance for every intercontinental trip, free comprehensive healthcare, two weeks of paid vacation, a free laptop computer and free transportation/vehicle.
WOW!!! – Where do I sign up???
This is just one of the many recent postings on Monster.com – other jobs with the same salary and benefits are also available – including:
- Project Manager – Project/Infrastructure/IT
- Analyst – Systems/Support/IT
- Technical Advisor – Computer/Security/IT
- Analyst – Data Manager/IT/
Sometimes the scams are easy to spot – other times it can be more difficult. Quite often the job titles and job descriptions are often stolen from other legitimate employment sites.
You may be able to enter a snippet of the job description in double-quotes and find the original source through your favorite search engine.
For example, the position I mentioned earlier contained the text “(C++, Java, HTML, PHP, Visual Basic)” in the job description.
Search for this in Google (including the double-quotes) and you’ll quickly see how often this exact string has been used in scam-related job postings.
These companies (more likely individuals) have absolutely no intention of hiring you – they are simply after the “Administration Fee” you need to send in advance.
Here is an example of some terms on a recent posting on monster.com:
You are liable to make charges of about USD$950.00 for the procurement of your working and residential permit documents which covers:
- Administrative charges:
- Diplomatic Courier Charges:
- Working Permit charges:
- Residential Permit charges:
- Hard copies of the terms:
They promise reimbursement of fees and travel expenses to attend the interview, but only AFTER you’ve shown up for the job and discovered they never existed!
In addition to money sent to the fraudsters in advance — you could be suckered in for airfare, hotel and thousands of dollars in other expenses.
Some obvious clues that should send up bright red warning flags:
- The job is in Nigeria, or posted on behalf of a Nigerian company. Quite often the jobs are IT-related in companies involved with oil, banking or mining
- The contact is using @hotmail.com or some other free email service. Legitimate offers generally come from legitimate companies with real email addresses.
- The telephone number is a fake. Don’t even try to call. Most often, if the number even works at all, it leads to a mobile phone in Nigeria or a similar country. Check the country code before calling and see if it matches the company’s address (if they even provide one).
- Beware of requests for detailed personal information, such as a copy of your passport, birth certificate, SSN card and so forth. This trick is used to make the application more ‘real’ but if they can’t sucker you on the ‘application fee’ – they may just sell or use your identity instead.
- Quite often, there will be many errors in the references, spelling and/or grammar. Here is another example:
“You are to receive the hard copies of the contract terms and agreement and also your working and residential permit altogether, it will be delivered through Diplomatic Courier Services(DHL) to your various designated addresses respectively.”
Do a Google search for “Diplomatic Courier Services(DHL)” and you will again see dozens of listings discussing or exposing the scam.
There are many variations to this new type of scam. Currently, IT professionals seem to be the major target. Monster.com and Monster’s country-specific sites have become the hot target for these scamsters.
Although Monster does remove bogus job postings fairly quickly, the process to complain about them is difficult and time-consuming.
In many online job boards, there is no ‘filtering’ or human review process for job postings — otherwise such fraudulent listings would be need to be much more difficult. Many job boards also allow free postings for advertisers — making them even more attractive for scammers.
The important thing to remember is that few legitimate employers will ask for fees of any kind up-front – in fact, many employers will pay for your travel expenses in advance.
Don’t let the job of your dreams become a financial nightmare – be cautious when dealing with any business you can not easily identify or verify. Best of luck on your job search!