Have you ever heard the saying, "If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t?"
Don’t get us wrong - online recruitment is an amazing resource for those of you seeking employment, especially in the oil and gas industry. However, as with anything on the Internet, it is important to take precautions. Online recruitment can, unfortunately, be a hotspot for scammers.
To help keep you free of these vicious online recruitment scams while on your hunt for a new job, we’ve put together our best tips and tricks on how to spot an online recruitment scam and avoid falling victim to them.
What Is Online Recruitment?
Online recruitment, often also referred to as E-recruitment, is the process by which companies advertise employment opportunities and find qualified candidates for said opportunities, over the internet.
Typically, this online recruitment is carried out via various online job boards (such as OJS) or company specific webpages.
Online recruitment can be advantageous to both the employers and the potential job candidates. Some of the advantages of this type of hiring are: reduction time for recruitment process, no intermediaries, less time restraints, time and hassle saving automated systems, low costs, etc.
What is an Online Recruitment Scam and How Can I Recognize One?
An online recruitment scam is a type of phishing. Essentially, the scammer is working to obtain the victims personal information and potentially even money.
How recruitment scams typically work is like this:
The scammer will pose as a company – often a well-known company, to appear more legitimate – and will advertise a fake job both on public online job boards as well as through private emails.
After performing interviews with the potential candidates (in these cases, the victims), and offering the (fake) job to these individuals, the scammer will then proceed to ask the individuals for personal information, such as their social security number, emails, addresses, and even banking information.
The victims often hand this information over blindly, as it can seem normal for an employer to request such information.
This can lead to a number of issues, such as financial loss, identity theft, fraud, and more.
Unfortunately, online recruitment scams are on the rise – especially in the oil and gas industry.
How to Spot Scams Amongst Legitimate Recruitment
At OJS we follow a careful screening process in attempts to validate the jobs found and shared through our platforms. However, some recruitment scams are extremely sophisticated.
To help you spot these online recruitment scams, we’ve created a list of common factors to keep an eye out for:
- Watch for poor grammar or spelling mistakes in the job postings, or within emails or other forms of communication that have transpired
- Be wary of job offers coming from unprofessional emails, such as generic Yahoo, G-Mail, or Hotmail accounts – most companies will have their own personalized email addresses
- Being asked for money is always a red flag
- Do not trust job offers that are coming to you even though you have not sent any resumes or applications in – this is unprofessional and unlikely to be legitimate
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to separate the scammers from the legitimate online recruitment opportunities, so long as you are diligent and act with common sense - and even an air of skepticism.
What to do to Avoid Falling Victim to An Online Recruitment Scam
Despite the tips we covered above on how to spot an online recruitment scam, there may still be some that slip under our radar.
Even if this does happen, and the “company” you are speaking with and “job” you have been offered are illegitimate, that does not necessarily mean you have to fall victim to the scam itself.
There are measures you can take and practices you should implement to ensure your safety when it comes to dealing with potential online scammers.
To avoid falling victim to an online scam, we suggest:
- Never handing over your money via the internet – whether it is for an “application fee”, a “start up fee”, a “deposit”, etc., requesting money in this way is always a red flag
- Never provide anyone with your banking or credit card information – giving someone your banking or credit card information is never a good idea; legitimate employers will never ask for that kind of information (aside from a potential direct deposit form – which should only be given in person when legitimacy is certain)
- Never send copies of your ID or Passport – no potential employer has ANY legitimate reason to ask for a photocopy or picture of any form of your identification. This can have disastrous consequences.
- Always double check the company’s website, contact information, address, email address, etc. – this will help you decipher between opportunities that are legit and those that are not. Real companies will provide street addresses for their offices, have their contact information readily available, and should have their own webpages – if any of these seem off, it probably is.
- There are no “entry level” jobs overseas – this one is specifically for those of you searching for jobs in oil and gas. Sorry to break it to you, but if you’ve found, or been offered, and entry level job in the oil and gas industry that is located on the other side of the world, or even just on the other side of the country, it isn’t legitimate. Entry-level jobs are filled by local workers both to help the local economy as well as to save the companies money. No company would spend money on travel expenses for an unskilled, inexperienced worker.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can protect yourself from these online recruitment scams simply by staying alert, being diligent and smart about who you communicate with and what information you share, and by having a bit of common sense about you.
Don’t let the potential scammers scare you out of utilizing the online recruitment tools in your hunt to find a new job in the oil and gas industry – it is a great resource as long as you use it wisely.
Happy job hunting.