JOB SEARCH / OCT. 18, 2013
version 4, draft 4

A Suspicious Job? - A Likely Scam

They say that for every 10 aplications you send out, you'll get at least 1 positive response. So we all eagerly wait, refreshing our inbox or waiting by the phone for a message that may not even assure our employment, but at least it shows they noticed you. So for every "sorry to inform you...", call to an interview, or even "congratulations, you got the job!" we know that our application was succesful in some way. So imagine my surprise when a job came to me.

After receiving what seemed like an infinite amount of rejections, I opened my mailbox one day to find a response for a job I hadn't even applied for. So I read through. "After seeing your profile on ****.com, we have decided you would fit perfectly for this role." I was ecstatic, I was flattered, but after a while, I was suspicious. I had skimmed so quickly through the email I decided to give it due care and attention. I had spotted key phrases such as "dynamic art company" and "perfectly suited for the role". I had been applying for creative jobs, so I assumed that I did fit the description they were looking for. But then I spotted details that didnt fit me at all. The role they were offering was titled "Financial Services Officer", a jargon laced title with little definition given in the email. The only real information was that it was a job I would do from home, for a few hours a day, and get paid...over £20,000 a year for? What a scream, a few hours a day earning me more than most entry level jobs, and they want me! But I wasn't stupid, I knew it all sounded a bit too dodgy for my liking, so I did a bit of snopping.

First up was the email address that sent me the offer from, it looked like a legitimate address, so I decided to copy and paste it into Google; simple detective work. The few results that came up led me to one place: a simple and, quite frankly, poorly written Hip-Hop blog. It didn't take long for alarm bells to ring. Why does this "dynamic art comopany" have a Hip-Hop blogger acting as their main recruiter? To further confirm my suspicions, I Googled the role itself. What I found was that several people had posted in forums asking if such an offer was a scam, turns out this wasn't the only company offering big pay and little hours in an ambiguous and mysterious role. I concluded at that point, this was a scam.

So what was learned? It seems that a few people are preying on gullible and desperate jobseekers, usually Graduates or those struggling to find work, it's a pretty despicable way of scamming the innocent, but here's a few tips to ensure that you don't fall into any of these traps:

  • If you question the credibility of someone who has responded to you, a quick search of their email will usually bring up any history or presence they have online.
  • Double check, is the title of the role they're offering you something you are familiar with, or even qualified to do?
  • If it is a work from home job, is it something you can actually do from home e.g. freelance writing, editing. 
  • If no company name is given, be wary, a company name can be easily researched, an empty phrase such as "exciting new company" offers no background.
  • Lots of money? Barely any effort required? It sounds obvious, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Have you ever experienced something similiar? If you know of any employment scams out there - sound off in the comments box below!

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