With more people looking for new opportunities in the workplace in the post-pandemic era, job scams are on the rise in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. There were 4,722 reports of job scam cases in Singapore between 2019 to 2021. Additionally, up to 70% of those getting scammed were allegedly aged between 20 to 39.
This is because they are more willing to try out new and riskier online jobs and are more likely to fall into online job traps. As a trusted recruitment agency in Singapore, it is our top priority to ensure that you are alert and safe from job scams during your job-search process. In this article, we’ll present the common job scams and share some tips on how you can avoid them!
Sources of Job Scams
In this fast-developing digital world, job scams have progressively moved online and on social media. Some of the more common ways victims encounter job scams in Singapore were through emails, social media messaging, or even phone apps.
Victims reported being approached by scammers offering a job with an appealing description and pay. It can be seen that job scammers rely on the active response of potential victims to achieve their intentions.
A. Common Job Scams
Requesting Personal Information
It is typical for job scammers to lure potential victims in with promises of amazing benefits and flexible working hours. This is a fairly common form of job scam. However, many unsuspecting applicants are unaware that the scammer’s end goal isn’t always monetary.
Some scammers only want your personal information (e.g. IC number, phone number etc). The purpose for this varies. Several scammers use these personal data to take out massive loans.
Job scammers may also ask for your bank information and details or request you to transfer a small sum of money. Often, they claim that the money is an application fee, to secure a fake job interview or for more detailed information on the fraudulent job. However, many find that once they send their money over, they never get it back.
Brushing scams are a newer and less-known type of scam, more common in Hong Kong. Victims are made to believe they can help an online seller boost their ratings and sales volume by placing orders on online shopping apps. They are instructed to pay out-of-pocket first and can be reimbursed later plus bonus commission, which is framed as making fast money. However, victims will receive neither in the end.
B. How Can We Avoid These Scams?
After learning more about the different job scams, here are some tips on how to avoid them.
Ignorance is the best policy
Job scams require active engagement on both ends. The best way to avoid job scams is to simply not respond if you did not recently look for or apply for a job. One good way to determine whether an offer is suspicious is to watch out for poor use of English with multiple errors and typos. Unnecessary usage of capital letters is also a red flag to mark the message as spam.
If it’s too good to be true, it’s not true
Imagine seeing an online advertisement telling you that you can earn more than $200 a day simply by online shopping and giving positive ratings. Too good to be true, right? Job scammers often try to lure job searchers by using terms like “quick cash opportunities”, “flexible hours”, and “work while lying in bed”. It’s important to be aware of these traps and turn away before it’s too late.
Do your research
Before filling out any application forms, or accepting any interview offers, make sure to do thorough research on the company. Understand the company’s background, business field, and size to assess the likelihood of it being a scam offer. When in doubt, it is a good idea to check whether the company is registered in your country, and if the details such as company address and phone number match with the information online.
Be careful with your personal information!
Although it is crucial for companies to obtain your personal information, be aware of what type of information you are giving and the necessity of providing this information at each stage of your job search process.
For example, information regarding your personal bank accounts is NOT needed for an interview offer. It would definitely be a red flag if recruiters asked for this information. Additionally, before filling in any forms asking for sensitive personal data, make sure that you are fully aware of the use of the forms. When in doubt, do not rush to give data or sign anything. Remember that job scammers can also take out loans in your name using your personal data. Allow yourself time to discuss this with friends or family.
Never pay money!
Lastly and most importantly, never pay money to anyone during your job search process. Job recruiters do not usually ask for payments, so it is crucial that you pay extra attention in the case where someone requests for you to pay an application fee, deposit, or interview reservation fee. Again, try to discuss it with friends or family before making a decision.
With more and more people re-entering the job search market, it is important for everyone to be aware of suspicious activity like spam emails/messages. Or even, companies asking for money and sensitive information, and over-the-top job offers.
The ideal situation would be to never respond to suspicious activity, and keep in mind that “high-pay, little work” job opportunities do not always exist. Additionally, when meeting with a company, always remember to do your research, and think twice before providing sensitive information. Most importantly, never give or pay any fees during the recruiting process.
Finally, if you are looking for a new job, instead of replying to suspicious job offers, drop your resume with us at BGC. We are always here to provide trustworthy support in your job search process.