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How to steer clear of expat job scams

By July 11, 2018October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

How to steer clear of expat job scams

July 11, 2018


The economic situation in many countries is forcing people to look for job opportunities in other countries and for many expats improving their financial situation is one of the main reasons they choose to move abroad. This can make expats vulnerable to scammers who lure them with false promises of job opportunities, specifically to gain access to their private information or to solicit money from them.

The type of job scams to look out for

The most common types of job scams include adverts placed online, often on legitimate job portals, for bogus companies. Alternatively a fake position could be advertised for a well-known global company. Lastly, you could be “headhunted” by a bogus recruitment agent with a false offer for a job.

Some of these scams can be very sophisticated with the scammers going to great lengths to establish fake company websites, email templates and social media pages that look very legitimate. The “job ad” will often take you directly to an online form that requires you to enter personal information before the recruitment process can go even further. It doesn’t stop there however, some elaborate scams include scammers creating fake immigration consultants and insurance companies to further add legitimacy to their deception. So with elaborate ploys like this, how can you ensure a job position or job offer is genuine?

How to protect yourself against job scams

  • The first rule to remember is that if it looks to good to be true then it probably is fake.
  • The next thing to do is research. Before you provide any information about yourself, research the company offering the position thoroughly. See if it is registered with applicable authorities and ask on expat forums if anyone has applied for similar jobs or been approached with similar job offers.
  • Never provide sensitive information – like sending copies of your ID, passport or bank statements to a company or a recruiter before you have thoroughly done your research and ascertained that they are genuine.
  • Never pay money to a recruitment agent. If they are asking for money it is the first sign that they are not genuine. Common red flags include recruiters asking for money to pay for credit checks, work permits or visas.
  • An almost foolproof way to spot a fake job ad or website is if it has grammar and spelling mistakes. Also check the email addresses of the company – are they linked to the domain name? If they are not and are generic email addresses like Gmail or Hotmail, then they are most likely not genuine.
  • If a recruiter is offering you a job at a specific company – phone the company concerned and ask to speak to someone in the HR department to ensure there really is a job vacancy.
  • Any company that is happy to hire you from abroad without a rigorous recruitment process that involves several interviews and background checks and even Skype interviews is more than likely not genuine. Remember if it’s too good to be true – then it’s not true!

Always remember – that in order to ascertain whether a job offer is real, it’s worth taking the time to ensure that it is genuine in order to ensure you don’t become another global job scam statistic.

If you are a South African expat living and working abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.

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