Sometimes in the desperation to get a job that gives them flexibility work from anywhere, applicants may fall prey to scam remote jobs. This is especially true for young Africans where job scarcity and unemployment may be relatively high.
If you are looking to land your next remote job you have to be on the look out for fake or scam jobs. The best way to protect yourself is to become fully acquainted with the signs or likely indicators of a fake/scam remote job.
Signs a Remote Job May Not be Legit
What are the signs to look out for in a remote job to determine if it is fake or scam? Are there ways to identify these scam jobs?
While one can never be 100% sure on every single remote job advertised online there are tips you can use to identify fake remote jobs fast. Our primary goal is to always protect our users/members from falling victim to fake jobs. Asides the fact we screen and check the remote jobs we publish we also have identified the following tips to help you know when a remote job ad is likely fake.
- Employer Does Not Have Website or Any Online Presence
In today's world any serious business or corporate organisation will at least have an online presence. This almost always mean they must have a website or webpage where you can find out a bit more about them.
When looking through a job listing and you cannot find anything about the advertising company or employer it may be a red flag. This does not necessarily mean their job is fake, however you will do well to proceed with some caution
2. Check for Signs of Website Spoofing
A lot of the scam remote jobs people fall prey to come through website spoofing. What is website spoofing?
Website spoofing is a type of cyber crime where criminals create a website that closely imitates or mirrors the legitimate website of an organisation, thereby deceiving people into believing that whatever information displayed on such websites is from the genuine organisation.
In the case of scam jobs, these criminals can create fake websites that resemble that of the real organisations and unsuspecting applicants can be asked to submit applications or provide sensitive information through which they can be scammed.
How to Guard Yourself Against Job Scams Through Website Spoofing
- If unsure you can google search the correct website of the organisation you are applying for.
- Never submit or fill in sensitive information on any online form (such as financial details) while applying for a job
- Do not download any application form, document etc you are not sure comes from the genuine hiring organisation (downloading unsafe documents, software may compromise your computer or phone). If unsure you can email the organisation to make enquiries
3. If They Ask for Sensitive Personal Information Upfront
It is usually a bad sign if a hiring organisation starts asking for sensitive personal information too early in the hiring/application stage. If unsure about any request from the organisation you can do more research about them. Either way be sure not to provide sensitive personal and financial information to any organisation during the application process.
Contact is initiated by the Scam Organisation (eg You Did not Apply for the Job or Indicate Interest in any way)
A lot of scam jobs are perpetrated this way. You suddenly get a text message or email inviting you for an interview for a job you certainly did not apply for. These scammers could obtain email addresses or phone numbers through various means and proceed to send out dubious invitations to interview. Most times they end with asking you to take a certain action if you wish to be considered for the job.
And definitely a lot of desperate jobseekers will respond to their message which usually is the beginning of the process to scam them.
If an organisation reaches out to you, out of the blue, with a job offer or interview invitation for a job you clearly did not apply for - chances are it is not a legitimate job.
If they were referred by an employee or someone who knows you, they will indicate in the message so you can verify from the person who referred them to you.
4. They Ask for Any Monetary Transaction to Process Your Application
One of the surest ways to identify a scam job is when they start asking for some form of payment to process your application.
No self respecting hiring organisation will ask applicants to pay money for any reason.
Some falsely advertised jobs that end up being multi-level marketing (MLM) jobs will ask you to pay some sums to get registered and get products that you will be required to sell. Beware of those, unless you are actually aware and interested in an MLM opportunity.
The ultimate aim of a scam job is to deceive and get some sort of financial benefit from the applicants. So this is the litmus test. Once a job application gets to the stage you are asked to pay money in any guise it is most likely a fake/scam job. You will do well to cut off any communication at that point.
5. Follow Your Instincts
Finally while applying for remote jobs always follow your instincts. If at any point you start feeling the job is not genuine, run your checks, do your research and follow you gut feelings.
Remember, never pay anyone as part of the job process.