Employment scams

Employment scams

Employment scams, also know as job scams, are a form of advance fee fraud scamming where certain unscrupulous persons posing as recruiters and/or employers offer attractive employment opportunities which require the job seeker to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses.

The scams typically involve lucrative offers of employment in Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, or South Africa with money demanded to be paid to an agency or travel agent for visas or travel costs. These companies often present themselves with official looking websites and documentation. Once the victim has paid the advanced fees for employment, the business either declines employment or ceases operating as soon as the transfer is finalized.

This type of scam has become more and more frequent recently due to the popularity of Nigerian 419 scams, and growing suspicion towards e-mails offering to transfer money from bank accounts, especially those originating in Africa. Unlike 419 scams, job scams tend to mostly target persons looking for employment in other nations such as hopeful immigrants or contractors and operate out of nations with high immigrant and foreign employment rates.

It is advisable to be wary of any job offerings which arrive in e-mail unsolicited and eventually require anyone to pay a fee in advance, particularly if the fee is asked to be paid through a financial services company such as Western Union, or if one must pay the amount to a bank or person in a third country (especially a West African nation) that is suspiciously unrelated to either party. Most reputable companies and/or agencies will absorb these costs themselves if they are the ones seeking the employee.

Types of job scams

Resume blasting

The simplest form of employment scamming offers guarantees of employment within a fixed time period for a fee (such as 30 days). These "seeker companies" then distribute your resume to prospective employers (known as CV or resume “blasting”) in hopes of tricking the victim into believing the authenticity of their business. The victim then pays money to have his or her details sent to employers who are hiring, but what the fraudsters do instead is spam hundreds or thousands of employers, industry websites, and online magazines with a victim's details in hopes of having the companies send them correspondence they can use to scam new victims. Occasionally, they will also have the company pay for travel and other work related expenses by passing themselves off as the victim, thus scamming both the employers and job seekers.

Some of these "employment agencies" offer a money back guarantee as an incentive so as to bait victims who do not wish to pay money for a failed employment search. Very few job seekers ever receive a refund, though it has been known to occur. Recently, a Canadian company was being investigated by authorities for carrying out and continuing to advertise such a scheme.

Bogus job offers

More sophisticated scams advertise jobs with real companies and offer lucrative salaries and conditions with the fraudsters pretending to be recruitment agents. A bogus telephone interview may take place and after some time you are informed that the job is yours. To secure the job you are instructed to send money for your work visa or travel costs to the agent or a bogus travel agent who works on their behalf. No matter what the variation, they always involve the job seeker sending them or their agent money, credit card or bank account details.

Another form involves bogus jobs being placed on legitimate Internet job boards. For example, a fraudster places a bogus job listing on a legitimate employment site, which is then e-mailed to thousands of job seekers wishing to find a job meeting that criteria. The fraudsters then take advantage of those who contact them, by asking for employment, visa, or travel fees in advance before they can consider the person for employment. Often, they create fabricated websites mirroring the real company sites, or create fake websites parodying a non-existent company which is legitimately registered in their origin country for the sole purpose of scamming victims.

Most often, fraudsters will use stolen credit card information to pay for posting their job opportunities on legitimate sites, as well as paying for the hosting of a bogus company's site.

A newer form of employment scam has arisen in which users are sent a bogus job offer, but are not asked to give over financial information. Instead, their personal information is harvested during the application process and then sold to third parties for a profit, or used for identity theft. Popular Internet Job Boards are used to harvest email addresses in which to then offer the non-existent jobs to users in their database.

Handle Cash on Companies Behalf Scam

These scammers do internet searches on various companies to obtain hiring managers names. They then advertise job offers on Job Search sites. The job hunter will then apply for the position with a resume. The person applying for the position will get a message almost instantly from a common email account such as "Yahoo", asking for credentials. The scammer will sometimes request that you have an "Instant Messenger" chat to obtain more information. The scammer guarantees your employment, quite usually done through automated computer programs that have a certain algorythm, with "canned responses" in broken english. At the "Instant Messenger" stage it is usually too late and the process has already begun. If you question the integrity of the process, the computer program will call YOU a "Scammer" and can be quite vulgar. Quite often the fraudulent negotiables are still sent to the address on your resume, even after the fake online rant.

How it Works.The scammer sends you fraudulent negotiables, advising you that you get to keep part of the funds. They will expect you to send the remainder to various parties that they specify, under the guise that they are legitimate business contacts. This is a money laundering scheme, as you become a pawn in the filtering process. The process continues until you catch on (or get caught, since you are technically an accomplice, not a victim, in the eyes of the law).

See also

* Advance fee fraud (including the "419 scam")
* 419eater.com
* Scam baiting
* Data entry scam

External links

* [http://www.expatengineer.net/exe/exedisc.nsf/a/Job%20Scams A directory of known job scammers, and fake companies.]
* [http://www.oil-offshore-marine.com/bewarejobscams.php#7 Extensive List of Job Scams, Scammers, Fake Employers and Nigerian Employment Scammers]

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