Job searches and immigration are two categories that are closely linked and the emergence of international job opportunities for individuals in the third world countries has led to the two being even more closely associated. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of cases of immigration scams specifically related to working abroad. These scams generally target individuals from Africa, Asia, Latin America and a host of other developing countries as they are often desperate to work and move to Canada, Australia, UK, AND New Zealand among other countries. In the period from 2012 to 2015, there were over 3,000 reported cases of employment and immigration scams to Canada with a further 300 falling victim to the same in the first 6 months of 2016. While the internet has revolutionized the job hunting and immigration process for millions of job seekers and employers, this development has also brought with it an increase in unscrupulous individuals and companies out to scam unsuspecting people, many of who are just looking for a better way of life abroad. Immigration and employment scams have led to many individuals losing their hard-earned income and life savings, for some it even leads to deportation, leaving them and their families facing a bleak future. In this article, we focus on ways of how to notice and avoid employment and immigration scams to Canada.
How to notice an employment scam
Usually, the best way to notice an employment scam is if it sounds too good to be true as the scammers more often than not already have enough information about the victim. Many job seekers often post their resumes and contact information on job searching sites and once this information is accessed by the scammers they are able to provide a tailor-made job offer to the unsuspecting individual. Some of the ways to notice an employment scam include:
1. Vague job requirements and job description
Scammers often try to make their job offers sound believable by including a job description section. Usually, these requirements are so simple and straightforward that almost everyone qualifies, by stating the obvious such as applicant must be 18 years old or above, must have internet access, etc. On the other hand, the job requirements don’t mention education or years of experience, because if it’s a real job the requirements will be more specific.
2. Unprofessional emails
A few of the emails from scammers can be well written but a lot of them are not. You should be on guard if the email contains spelling, capitalization, punctual or grammatical mistakes. Real companies hire professionals who can write.
3. Emails don’t contain contact information and are sent from personal accounts
If the email doesn’t include the companies address and phone number it could possibly be a scam. With the sender often making an excuse for using their personal email.
4. You are asked to provide confidential information
Some scammers will ask for your banking details to set up a direct deposit to transfer money to your account or as you to open a new bank account and send them the bank details. Other scammers will also tell you to go to a website and fill out a credit report form or provide confidential information so that they can put you on the company’s payroll or insurance scheme.
5. Online interviews via Yahoo Instant Messenger
Yahoo Instant Messenger is very popular with scammers. The scammers often say the interview will take place online and suggest using Yahoo messenger or another instant message service. At times they may even include information on how to set up Yahoo Messenger and the hiring manager’s contact details. Scammers often target individuals who are looking to work and live abroad as it is very difficult to find work abroad especially where the employer is required to go through certain authorization processes like submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). These scammers pose as recruiters or the company’s employees.
Tips on how to avoid employment scams.
What can job seekers do to protect themselves? Here are a few tips on how to avoid potential employment scams.
- Don’t provide financial or personal information: It is advisable not to provide your credit card information, bank account details or your social security number. There is absolutely no reason for an employer to ask for your credit card information, and you only ever give your social security number to the employer after validating the legitimacy of the company and signing an employment contract.
- Never agree to any wire transfers of any sort: Any mention of a wire transfer or sending money to make more money, as there is no legitimate job offers that include the transfer of money.
- Avoid postings that guarantee you a job: These are especially the ones that guarantee you a postal or government civil servant job. They sometimes provide you with information about the government exam for a large fee, and these government forms are readily available on the government website and are free.
- Don’t be swayed by amazing testimonials: This is simply a marketing gimmick that is designed to make people more at ease in falling for the scam. While some testimonials can be real, even legitimate companies have been found to be making them up.
Although it doesn’t guarantee you the perfect job or fantastic income, using networking to track down job leads is the most effective tool in the job seeker’s toolbox. It’s important to think twice before responding to any job postings that promises you easy money and the opportunity to live abroad.