Have you ever spent hours and hours looking for a job online and find that perfect job (almost too perfect) where the person is looking for someone with your exact skills and a fantastic salary but the advertiser wants you to pay for training materials or a background check before they will even consider your application?

Or you’re asked for too much personal info and banking details even before you officially apply? Both of these are sure signs of online job scams. These fraudsters just know how desperate job hunter are to the point of giving away all their information or sending the cash but actually the job doesn’t even exist! It is just another way for scammers to get your personal information, financial data or your money!

The good news is that there are several warning signs to look for:

  • If the company cannot provide you with a link to their own messaging portal and suggests you connect via a WhatsApp call, FB messenger or google hangouts – decline!
  • Be suspicious of the contact has a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail address – The company should have their own domain.
  • Also watch out for grammar & spelling errors in the email
  • The job description or requirements are unclear. “Anybody can apply”. “No experience needed” – vague ads and unrealistic remuneration promises like “You can earn $5000 dollars in a week”
  • Do not pay for a background check for a job interview. You can go to the police station and get your own Police Clearance.

So, how do you avoid scams?

  1. Use your instinct – trust your gut! If it’s too good to be true – ignore!
  2. Google is your friend -Google search the employer and the company name and make sure there is an address and telephone number.
  3. Never provide your ID no, banking details and don’t ever believe it’s to set up a direct deposit into your account before you even have job – a real company with have their HR department request this information and you will need to fill out the company forms for this! PS: Be careful of filling out online forms too – this could be phishing to get your personal info.

Many scammers see job seekers as their “hunting ground,” and they are very happy to take advantage of your interest in earning a salary and this could endanger you when arranging to meet up with them in a not-so-public space and you could even become a victim of human-trafficking.

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