Over the years, the rise in the demand for gainful employment has seen an exponential increase in the perpetuation of recruitment scams. These fraudulent individuals taking advantage of job seekers’ desperation due to the high rate of unemployment and underemployment swindle them of money by offering fake job opportunities, fake promotion, business fund, etc.

This scam, which occurs mostly to the youth and young ones in the society, as they are mostly perpetrated online through SMS, social media, online adverts, etc., is aimed at having the victim part with resources or divulge key personal information/data for exploitation.

This can be done in a plethora of ways, including:

  • Getting job seekers to fill in personal details in fake applications
  • Asking for bank details from job seekers, under the excuse of processing salary payment at the point of employment
  • Asking job seekers to pay some money for the interview or to buy favors, including to enjoy access to juicy job opportunities, etc.

Warning signs with regards to recruitment fraud:

  • The interview or employment message is not addressed to you personally.
  • There is no proper address or a full description of the location the interview is to hold.
  • The message sender is using a free email address such as Yahoo, Live, Hotmail or Gmail and not linked to any organization.
  • Receiving unsolicited communications or invites for offers for jobs you did not apply for.
  • To get personal data from you, you are requested to provide personal information- like date of birth, banking details, ID card, etc., all before an offer of employment is made and accepted.
  • Being offered a role without anyone seeing your CV or speaking with you or being offered the role within minutes of applying and then asked to send money for training or undertake a free week trial. 
  • The salary is higher than that generally offered sum for that role or stature of organization.
  • The invite is poorly drafted and worded.
  • There is no clear job description, skill requirement, qualification, or previous experience for the job, creating uncertainty as to the entire opening.
  • There is no information about the organization online and through other means.

While the above is not exhaustive, it is a good heard start to the employment market and what to look out for. Before attending any interview or taking any offer of employment, consider the below:

  • Carry out extensive research on the company to confirm the authenticity of both the organization and the employment opportunity. The latter is very important, as scammers have in the past cloned the website of reputable organizations to carry out fraudulent activities.
  • Be extremely vigilant when attending interviews and flee upon any suspicion or sight of anything unusual.
  • No matter the name or purpose, do not pay any money to potential employers.
  • While the need for gainful employment is important, particularly in this time of high unemployment/underemployment and economic recession, it is important to shelve desperation, as it can prevent you from noticing red flags and acting on them.
  • Be cautious when dealing with organizations that use free email accounts like Yahoo, Gmail instead of corporate email accounts
  • Use real and verified job search websites.
  • Do not accept employment from organizations who boycott the application and interview, but offer direct employment without applying.
  • Inform family and friends about the venue, time, and interviewee before attending.