How to avoid online scams in job market

Updated: 2012-01-31 10:40

(China Daily)

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Check for known 'red flags'

Job scams usually contain certain common "red flags" that can alert you to fraudulent jobs. These include misspellings or grammatical errors in job advertisements, or a contact email address that is not the primary domain of the alleged organization.

Other discernible clues that something is amiss include ads that require you to put in some form of monetary deposit before giving you access to or offering you the jobs advertised.

Be wary if your bank account details are sought

There are some types of job scams in which the applicant is asked to accept payment to his or her bank account. These payment-transfer scams usually involve a con artist who pretends to be an employer and uses fake job ads to lure unsuspecting job seekers and extract personal details and information from them.

The scary thing is that such confidence tricksters can even go to the extent of stealing company logos and corporate names to convince jobseekers that they are legitimate employers. Always be wary of jobs that request information or personal details beyond your resume. As a rule of thumb, you should never give out your bank account details before landing the job.

Post your resume anonymously

The increasing danger of an identity theft or someone posing as an employer to gain an applicant's personal data are good reasons to post an anonymous resume. Many swindlers target genuine job hunters and obtain their personal particulars through fraud with the purpose of spamming them with business opportunities - which are more often than not fictitious and illegal pyramid marketing schemes.

Avoid putting your home address, phone number or date of birth for resumes that you post publicly in case identity thieves abuse the information available to create bogus credit cards or take out loans.

Check with reliable sources

Check on the firm's reliability, credibility and complaint record with friends or contacts from the industry or seek advice from other reliable third party resources.

Never divulge personal and financial information on the phone, email or over the Internet until you have done due diligence on the company's reputation and marketplace record and are comfortable with the company's privacy protection policies.

Be skeptical of easy money plan

The work-at-home job market is rife with scams, and each year, billions of dollars are lost to such fraudulent business.

It pays to be more skeptical about supposedly lucrative money-making opportunities this market promises. If the returns sound too good to be true, most of the time they are. Jobs that make grandiose income claims or ads that do not specify the details and requirements of the job itself should raise a red flag.

Work with headhunters

Last but not least, always work with a reputable headhunting firm or job agency. Proceed with caution whenever you receive an email from someone who claims to have seen your resume online and invites you to complete application details online. You should check out the company through your Internet browser and contact the organization via telephone to find out if the job offer is genuine.

(Contact for questions and career advice)

Contributed by Sophie Shang, manager of supply chain and manufacturing at Robert Walters Talent Consulting Ltd China