With every cohort of graduates, comes a demand for jobs. While our parents ‘tarmacked’ from one office to another, we, millennials are job-hunting online. We subscribe to job alerts from every job advertising website and follow any leads with the hope of recruitment. more so, most of us are interested in work-from-home jobs which, unfortunately, are rampant in scams. The truth is, when you are green and fresh off college, you are too thrilled to scrutinize a job offer, that you take anything coming your way.
Finally, you get the call. If you land a genuine interview, you are safe. If not, you might just add to the statistics of unsuspecting Kenyans, who have fallen victim to con artists. How it happens… You are shortlisted for an interview and are asked to pay a fee for a medical checkup, recruitment fee, training fee, the list is endless. They then book you an interview in a location that doesn’t exist or better yet, you actually attend the interview and you are called to pay some amount to help get the job.
But how do you identify these fake-job websites in the first place?
1. Check the domain name, then, check again!
These websites are likely to use a domain name very close to a known or trusted brand. ie. sasahot.com vs sasahost.com. Did you spot the difference between the two domain names? I bet some of you might miss that! It is always good to counter check. Don’t be too quick to engage the recruiter before confirming their authenticity. You should also be keen on identifying the domain name extension i.e company.com and company.net. If the domain extension differs and lacks sufficient believable information, it should raise an alarm.
2. Check the email account.
I mean this with a lot of concern. In the event that you get an offer from a company through a personal email account, be careful. A lot of companies recruit using official emails such as email@example.com etc. Watch out for emails with personal names ie. firstname.lastname@example.org. If they are still using Gmail or Yahoo or Outlook, at least, let the emails have the company name i.e email@example.com
We don’t mean to have you mistrust every job offer you get, but be safe, not sorry!
3. Read some online reviews.
Once contacted, it is important to read reviews about the company. Go through as many reviews as you can get. Someone might have very important information. However, not all reviews are genuine. To identify fake reviews, they are likely to be strangely similar to one another or are all very recent.
4. Check the website.
This has always been a bit tricky. This is what you do. Visit the website, read the about us page, check for spelling and grammar mistakes and statements that don’t make sense, contact information e.t.c.
We have experienced websites that are a duplicate of other websites. If it’s hard to tell which is the genuine one, start this list from the top. Check the domain name for each, read reviews about each domain name and hopefully, you will have enough to help you authenticate it. Always remember that con artists are very smart.
5. If the deal is too good, play safe, think twice.
Paranoia is your best friend. Be very suspicious of very captivating deals. Most times, they create an agency. They will provide you with a contract and ask you to sign before you head in for the interview claiming you have been shortlisted. Upon signing, the contract requires you to pay some amount to start the job. Let your instincts guide you. If you don’t trust them, get out before it’s too late.
You need to know that fake job websites are very easy to create and will cost very little. On the other hand, the amount they exploit from unsuspecting people is 10 times what they spent. I tend to put on the shoes of a con to help me think critically when caught up in a similar situation. This might not work for you but at least, you have five pointers to cross-reference with.