Beware of email job offers

Online recruitment scammers continue to lure job-seekers with false promise of overseas employment and immigration.
Common scams include email notifications on job offers, selection through visa lottery and creation of fraudulent government websites providing immigration ‘assistance’.
Binu Raj, a chef at a bakery in Muscat, received a phone call intimating that he was selected by a hotel group in Toronto, Canada. For further authenticity, the call was backed by an offer letter and other papers sent via email.
“The email stated that I had to make an upfront payment $400 and share personal information to take things forward to expedite the process,’’ Binu said.
Suspecting fraud, Binu, who didn’t apply for the job, showed the email to his friend. While checking the legitimacy of the offer, it was found that the company’s name and logo were fake.
“Beware of fraud! Protect yourself from falling victim to job and immigration scams”, says Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO of VFS Global, Middle East.
According to him, the company received more than 560 complaints, via emails from affected parties, about fraudulent entities posing as company representatives and making bogus job and immigration offers.
Although most of the complaints originated from individuals based in the Middle East and India, there has been 32 per cent decline in visa fraud complaints reported to VFS Global in 2018, compared to 2017.
“This was made in exchange for significant sums of money paid upfront towards visas or work permits”, he reveals.
Some recurring themes or patterns are observed in these fraud complaints.
“The fraudulent entity informs the unsuspecting individual, via email, that their qualifications have been found suitable to work as an employee or for immigration and settlement purposes. Sometimes the scamster will say these costs would be reimbursed once the process is complete”, he points out.
According to Vinay, the fraudsters allegedly post jobs online with too good to be true salaries and unbelievable benefits. In most cases, job offers or immigration promises are sent from fabricated email IDs via personal email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc.
Job-seekers responding to the scammers’ offers are told to attend job interviews by phone which are again fake.
He recommended that nobody responds to unsolicited business propositions and/or offers from people who are unfamiliar.
In addition, recruiting pages addressing these
scams state that the employer would never ask a candidate for
payment of any kind as part of the hiring.
Furthermore, applicants are urged never to publish their passport or visa application numbers on public domains or social media platforms, where scammers are on the prowl.