The 5 Characteristics of Dubious Online Job Offers

The adoption of the Internet has started a revolution in the job market, making it easier for job seekers and employers to recruit. However, scammers have taken advantage of the vulnerability of the unemployed, with advertising fake offers to trick them.
Daily, there are thousands of non-existent jobs featured on various platforms aiming to attract many applicants and people find themselves tricked into paying fees or providing personal information believing that the provides is reputable.
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It is hard to identify the legitimacy of an offer and its origin online, but there are some things everyone should know to recognize scams and avoid them. The golden rule of online interaction, whether if you are looking for a job or just shopping, is to never trust or pay anyone, before you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.

Here are the 5 characteristics that will help you recognize a false job offer.


#1. Tempting Job Description

The biggest sign that an offer is fake is it being unrealistic and exaggerated. Scammers tend to advertise aggressively and come up with attractive job titles or salaries, that are impossible in real life.

Usually those offers use different wording, which is an obvious indicator- they sound like they are trying to sell to you, using short and simple sentences, finished with an exclamation mark.

Legitimate companies will make their ads informative and most likely wouldn’t contain a fixed salary number, although there can be a range to help job seekers build expectations.

Look out for:

‘Sales executive needed, salary up to £4000 a month, with a 20% sales commission and flexible working hours ’
‘High paid manager of a clothing shop- no experience needed!’
‘Join our customer service team and be promoted within 3 months!’
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#2. Lack of job descriptions and requirements

This is another version of scammy offers. While the above mentioned has a very attractive job description, aiming to lure you into their trap, there can be no description at all. The ad oftenly will focus more on the size of the salary, rather than the obligations and position applied for.
Legitimate company ads usually start with a detailed description of the working tasks, mandatory and preferred requirements. If salary is included in the offer it would be at the end, with the entire focus being on the job description.

With putting the emphasis on the pay, scammers take advantage of the financial vulnerability of unemployed and many people fall into this trap.

Look out for:

‘Earn up to £500 in just a few days!’
‘Land your dream job and become rich within a year!’

#3. No formalities

Most false job offers will hire you right away, respond very quickly and will skip the interview and all formal recruitment customs. After they have ‘hired’ you, they wouldn’t ask for any kind of documentation, recommendations or previous experience, which is a sure indicator of a scam.

This may seem very convenient and saving you a lot of trouble, but it is another fraud trap that many applicants fall in. Keep in mind that no real company will hire someone before proof of all his qualifications and a proper background check.

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#4. Lack of Company details

A few years ago, scammers were easier to identify with a background check of the non-existed employer. However, nowadays they are becoming smarter and have come up with better ways to deceive job seekers. It is likely that they use the name of reputable companies to post job offers, create duplicate websites and use phishing emails in order to be convincing.

However, with little investigation, this can be recognized and avoided. You can do a search engine search on the company and see if their official website is the same that is provided in the ad. Also check their social media accounts since false advertisers may have created profiles but if they don’t have a solid following it should ring your bells.

Regarding suspicious emails, always make sure that you check if the contact person is actually an employee of this company and contact him. Also keep in mind that unless you are the best specialist in your area of expertise, it is unlikely for companies to do the outreach, if you haven’t applied for the position.


#5. Processing fees

This is a classic Internet rip-off, where the job platform would ask you to pay a registration or application fee.Job websites are free and no reputable company will want to collect money from their prospective employees.

Although those are the characteristics of a false offer, keep in mind that scammers are getting more experienced and smart in their ways to trick you in. Going with your gut is always an option, but research of the company can be a lifesaver in a doubtful situation.

Below is our list with most common online job scams people fall for:

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How can you protect yourself from dubious job offers?

There’s no way that we can avoid encountering false offers, but in this case, being skeptical is a healthy practice. You should never take everything ads and people say and promise to you as the absolute truth. Even if you are confident that your job platform is reliable, anyone can post their offer and you may be unlucky enough to come across it. This is why everyone should proceed with caution towards online ads and not be naive enough to provide any form of payment to apply.