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Advice to Candidates For Internet Job Search

Advice to Candidates For Internet Job Search

Job search in the age of internet is easy but may not be safe unless you take precautions

With the advent of internet, innumerable websites have come up that post jobs and help in job search. Many of them are genuine. However, regrettably, sometimes, false job postings are also listed online, and non-existing job offers are sent via email to illegally collect personal information and/or money from unsuspecting job seekers. It is these sites that one must avoid during any job search activity.

While doing job search we encourage you to be wary of emails that

  • ask your personal, non-work related information such as Credit Card numbers or Bank information over phone or email
  • do not provide valid contact information
  • ask for monetary transactions, money-transfers, or payment for any employment/recruitment related purpose
  • promise emigration and ask for money to process visa, etc
Please note that no company ever asks for information as above during or even after your job search efforts.

Before you respond to such emails, we suggest you to do a discreet enquiry and be sure to verify the legitimacy of the employer with whom you are interacting. While job search is definitely a priority for you, it must not get you in trouble.

Educate yourself against Fraud/Scams that use job search websites

We encourage you to read the following and make yourself aware of the warning signs of the most common kinds of Internet and Email frauds while doing your job search.

There are two types of email scams – ‘phishing’ and ‘spoofing’. In both the cases, the ‘from address’ is forged to make it appear as if it came from a source that it actually did not come from.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is an attempt by fraudsters to ‘fish’ for your personal details. A phishing attempt is usually in the form of an e-mail, which encourages you to click a link that takes you to a fraudulent log-on page designed to capture your account/password/personal details. These emails can also be used to lure the recipient into downloading harmful software. It is quite possible that in the excitement of job search you may click on such phishing links.

More information about Phishing scams and how you can protect yourself against them is available here

What is Spoofing?

Spoof emails usually include a fraudulent offer of employment and/or an invitation to perform a monetary transaction. Such email scams are, unfortunately, common across the world and could target anyone. The sender’s address is often disguised and/or the sender may not have provided the entire contact information, such as, the correct physical address, phone numbers and email ID. Please be sure that no genuine company or consultant will ask for any such personal information when you are engaged in the job search operation.

The precautionary measures jobseekers could take to protect themselves against suspected spoof emails have been mentioned above. As we said earlier, job search on internet is easy, but fraught with danger for unsuspecting folks.

While doing your job search, how can you check if an employer or a recruiter is a fraud or genuine?

Below are a few things we can suggest you could try (you are encouraged to exhaust all possible ways, not just be limited to the following) to ascertain the legitimacy of the employers who contact you during your job search efforts:

  1. Have you heard the name of the company before? You’d in any case like to limit your job search queries on the internet to well known and legitimate companies.
  2. Do you remember applying to this particular company or did the offer come unsolicited?
  3. Does the domain name in their email address match the name of the company? For example if you get a job offer from XYZ Petroleum Company, and their email ID is or then it’s a fake company. Real companies use their own domain name on their email, and do not use free email providers. During job search, one must avoid companies that do not use own domain names
  4. Search on Yahoo, Google or MSN to see if the company has a genuine website. Also check if other people have reported that the employer has been involved in job scams previously.
  5. Note the country that company claims to be working in, and offering you a job in. Most fake companies offer scam jobs in Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America, and to a much smaller extent, US or WesternStreet Smart Job Search System Europe.
  6. Find out if you need to pay the company for anything. If they ask you to pay – at first or even after some time – for visa, work permit or for travel, chances are it’s a fake company.

Your turn now to share your comments and experiences about fraud during your job search efforts. Specifically:

  1. What precautions do you take when involved in job search?
  2. Have you ever had a bad experience of receiving a phishing or spoof email during any of your job search campaigns?
  3. What advice would you like to share with other readers so that they are able to carry out a safe and secure job search on the internet?

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