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Safeguard Your Search: Red Flags of Job Scams

August 25, 2023

Finding a job online is convenient nowadays. The internet has presented job seekers with overwhelming and promising options. 

However, in the sea of job listings lie potential threats. Recruitment or job scams have been around for a while and scammers use tactics to gain access to personal information, from email and social media to text messaging apps. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the realm of job scams, guiding you through the process of identifying red flags and avoiding these deceitful schemes.

Text Message (SMS) 

Text scams are alarmingly common in the Philippines. Job seekers often receive unsolicited text messages claiming to offer positions in well-known companies. Here’s how they typically unfold: 

  • Initial contact: You receive a text from an unknown number pretending to be a company recruiter. They tell you about a high-paying job opportunity, often matching your qualifications. 
  • Verification fee: The scammer may request upfront payment or advance fees for background checks, interviews, or other verification processes. They trigger urgency by mentioning a limited timeframe for settling the fees.
  • Missing interview: After payment, the promised interview never materializes and your calls or messages go unanswered.

Online Classifieds and Social Messaging Platforms 

Scammers also lurk on online classifieds and social messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram. They entice job seekers with eye-catching ads and postings. Here’s what to watch out for: 

  • Fake job listings: Scammers post jobs with vague descriptions and promises of high earnings for minimal work. These listings often lack essential company details.
  • Training fees: Victims are lured into paying for training materials, seminars, or courses to secure the job. Once the payment is made, the scammer disappears. 

Impersonation on Professional Networks 

Professional networking platforms like LinkedIn can also be targeted. Scammers create fake profiles and approach job seekers with irresistible offers. Here’s how they operate: 

  • Fake profiles: Scammers impersonate HR personnels or executives from reputable companies. They slide connection requests and initiate conversations. 
  • Phishing links: Scammers share links that appear to lead to job application forms or company websites. These links are designed to steal personal information or spread malware. 

How to Protect Yourself 

  1. Thorough research: Research the company offering the job. Legitimate companies have a professional digital presence and verified contact details. 
  2. Question unrealistic offers: Be skeptical of job offers that promise exceedingly high salaries for minimal effort or qualifications. 
  3. Verify contact information: Confirm the email addresses, phone numbers, and website URLs provided. Scammers often use slightly modified versions of official details. Be vigilant for misspellings or grammatical errors. 
  4. No payment for jobs: Employers will never ask you to pay for a job, background check, training, or any other employment-related service. 
  5. Trust your instincts: If the job offer sounds more like a pitch than an opportunity or too good to be true, proceed with caution. 
  6. Personal information protection: Do not share sensitive details like your government numbers (TIN, SSS, PhilHealth) or bank information until you verify the legitimacy of the opportunity. 

While the internet has changed the recruitment landscape, it has also exposed us to job scams that can have far-reaching consequences. As a job seeker, stay informed, be cautious of tempting offers, and verify the credibility of any job opportunity. Genuine employers value your skills without compromising your financial well-being.