The year 2021 saw a huge rise in text scams in the Philippines that compelled the government to take action and warn the public not to fall victim. Included in these scams are fake job ads that pretend to offer employment opportunities but intend to steal money or personal information. As a jobseeker, you must be able to distinguish fake job postings and offers from the real ones, whether they’re from employment websites or SMS messages. Here’s how.
Check for Signs of a Fake Job Offer
Let’s start with an obvious one—the pay. A job is likely bogus when it’s offering an unusually high salary for tasks and responsibilities that on average should be paid for way lower. Scammers are simply promoting substantial earnings to attract potential victims.
The papers, or lack thereof. A contract defines what you and your employer can expect from each other. Job contracts can help you when you pursue legal action against employers who do not honor their part of the agreement. Scammers won’t provide legal documents and company handbooks so you can’t use their words against them in court. If they do provide papers, read all of them before you sign any legally binding document. There may be clauses in them that can put you in an extremely disadvantaged position.
The unsolicited offer. When out of nowhere someone is serving you a high-paying job offer on a silver platter, that’s pretty much a red flag already. It could be via from a random email or text message. There are of course times when legitimate recruiters do approach you first and invite you to work for their company, but they usually ask you to submit a formal application and undergo interviews; they won’t immediately say you got preapproved for a job.
The shady requests. While it’s true that companies may ask for several personal information to process your job application, some details are often not asked or required. No genuine company would ask for details irrelevant to the job, like your credit card number. Is the recruiter oddly asking you to send them one-time passcodes? Do they ask for money and promise to return a bigger amount? Those are scams.
The unprofessional recruiter. Did the recruiter send a poorly worded message, with bad grammar and syntax? Does he stick to text communication and refrain from doing Zoom calls or meeting in person to avoid revealing their face and voice? If so, that’s highly suspect. Take some time to research about the recruiter. Look up their public online accounts, such as on Facebook and LinkedIn, and look for any inconsistencies. Contact the company if the recruiter really represents them.
The unverifiable company. Similarly, see if the company has an online presence. Most do in today’s world. Learn what former and current employees have to say about the company. If the recruiter refrains from naming the company, then it’s a scam.
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What To Do If You See a Fake or Suspicious Job Ad
It’s best you do not reply to emails and text messages about bogus job offers. Always investigate first the moment you think something is wrong with the offer. Do not readily open attached files or links to external websites, as you may end up in a phishing site. Do not give out any of your personal details as the scammers will only use your information for further attempts to steal your money via social engineering.
If you keep receiving fake job offers, it most likely means that too much of your personal and contact information is publicly available online. You ought to learn how to protect your online presence and, in worse cases, do some digital spring cleaning.
What to Do If You’ve Fallen Victim to Fake Jobs
Maybe you were desperate enough for a gig that you got yourself hoodwinked in a scam and didn’t realize until it was too late. Don’t beat yourself up; it happens to everyone. Count your losses. Do not send more payments or make more effort for the scammer, hoping you can still bounce back while believing it’s all been just a streak of bad luck. That’s sunken cost fallacy.
The best you can do at this point is to report the scam incident to the authorities and then move on. Real opportunities are out there; you just have to know where to look.