How to spot online job scams

29 Jul 2019

While out looking for a job, you might come across advertisements that may feel fishy or at other times; they can look legitimate but turn out to be fake.

Job scammers may not be very common in Singapore, but it still happens.

The fake recruiter could be mining for resumes, making the candidate pay for bogus fees, or using your personal information for other reasons.

To prevent falling prey to such scams, here are some ways to spot a fraudulent job advertisement.

Asking for financial information

If you have been asked about your financial status, the number of credit cards you own, or the income level of you or your family - beware, these are some of the information which is not necessary to be given out to the company or recruiter.

Other than identification, job and education qualifications, personal informal as sensitive as income is not needed.

Some companies are known to ask for last drawn salaries, which is a common HR practice.

However, it is practice to ask for the previous company's remuneration and not every company that you have worked for.

Private information

Are you seeing anybody? Do you like to go clubbing? Are you and your partner planning to have kids soon?

If you feel uncomfortable being asked these questions, your instinct is right.

These are also some questions which should be omitted during an interview or background check.

Your lifestyle and choices are personal, and you do not need to reveal them.

Companies may ask if you are getting married or have children so that they can disburse marriage leave or child benefits.

Some companies may ask you to indicate your religion or health condition in case they need it for purposes such as catering food for dietary preferences.

Sketchy location or website

A good way to see if the company is legitimate is by looking at their website or address. Is the website professionally made? Is their address a P.O. Box, out of the country, or unknown?

A quick search online to source for reviews or a call to their number and to have a quick chat are good ways to check up on the company.

Another way to protect yourself is by searching for jobs through a recruitment agency. The HR company would have met up with the clients and validated them.

Unprofessional or weird e-mails

A way to check is by looking at their e-mails. Does it have a proper signature with a company logo? Is it written professionally? Does the e-mail address have a proper "" or is it a generic e-mail hosting site like Hotmail or Gmail?

Also, if you get any e-mails asking you for money or asking you to sign any agreements, it may be an indication that this job advertisement might not be for real.

Scammers are out to cheat so they will want to do it quick. And if you start asking them many questions or delay the job application, the scammer might just move on.

Job search is not an easy process, but do not lose hope - the right opportunity is there for you, be careful not to get side-tracked and lose your confidence with these job scams.

Main image from Pexels

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