Job Search Tips

Spotting Fake Job Advertisements From Miles Away


Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Spotting Fake Job Advertisements From Miles Away

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Looking for employment opportunities is so easy to do today. Whether you’re just checking what’s being offered elsewhere or looking for a job, the internet is the most convenient way to do it. For example, simply searching for vacant work positions will net you hundreds of results. However, this convenience also comes with its pitfalls.

The proliferation of Fake Job Ads

While there are legitimate job opportunities available on the internet, there are also multiple shady job ads that prey on people’s vulnerabilities. They hide behind the anonymity of the web to prey on innocent people and profit from their misfortune. Unfortunately, local job boards and online classified ads are not spared from unscrupulous individuals.

Bogus Jobs Warning Signs

Identifying fake work opportunities may not be easy. Sometimes, your economic needs blind you from seeing the scam that is staring you in the eyes. Before you become a victim, it is crucial to know “red flags” in job ads.

1. Too easy to be true

Specific job posts can sound too easy to be true. This you will learn from experience that they sound unrealistic and may list a few simple mundane skills. They could be posted merely to harvest your CV. Beware. You can call the person listed in the job ad to speak to him and get more details about the client or job description. Even after making multiple attempts, if his colleague still tells that they are in a meeting or busy talking to someone, this is an alarm bell. Such a person advertised in the ad as a contact person may not exist at all.

2. Vagueness

Compared to legitimate job postings, fake jobs are often unclear about their guidelines. They post broad and general job titles like “secretary”, “customer relations officer”, “liaison personnel”, or “admin trainee/assistant.” You can even come across mind-boggling enticements like, “A pioneering and successful international commodities trading company is looking for (position).” What is noticeable is that they don’t name the company that is looking for employees.

3. Lack of verifiable information

Fake job postings usually don’t have company addresses, telephone numbers, or any other contact information. More often than not, you will see an email address to where you will send your résumé or CV. Do not, in any way, send out your personal information to say emails as these are more likely CV harvesting entities. These agencies or people collect personal data for their benefit and never for the applicant’s gain. Such people sell the personal data of applicants for money, mainly without the applicant’s knowledge. Further, do not share sensitive information like bank account numbers or credit card details.

4. Money is involved

This is where fake job ads get nasty. If you chance upon a job post that requires you to pay a certain amount of fee, back off immediately. The charge may be in the form of a membership fee, a test payment, or an outright offer to buy a product. Any legitimate work does not ask applicants to pay anything.

5. Unbelievable offers

“Earn $300 per day working at home” or “no experience required” is so prevalent in many fake job ads. They bank on people’s gullibility or desperation. Some even offer salaries that are way beyond the norm. Again, here’s where the saying “too good to be true” is most applicable.

6 . Poor job descriptions

As employers expect candidates to write relevant covering letters and an excellent descriptive CV, so do the candidates. A poorly written job description that does not give specific details indicates a lazy and lousy employer, or there could be high attrition rates as a result of which the hiring manager is ‘bored’ to change the job description to suit the exact candidate profile they are looking to hire for a role. Ignore such advertisements. Do not believe in any emails that are not from official email ids.

7 . Bait-and-Switch Tactics

Some job ads state a particular position available but will offer a different one once the interview commences. This is usually used to lure unsuspecting job seekers to do tasks like re-packaging purchased merchandise and sending them off to other locations.

Protecting yourself from vultures

Being aware of possible work scams is one of the best ways of safeguarding yourself from dodgy job posts. Before sending out any personal information, send an email inquiring about the job details and the hiring process. More often than not, you will discover if the job is legitimate or not based on the reply that you will receive. An immediate reaction that says “we reviewed your application” or “we had received your CV” when you didn’t send one are also warning signs.

It is easy to say that the best way to look for work is to search for legitimate job opportunities. So how can you go about it?

1. Identify businesses in your area or vicinity. Visit their websites and look for a section often tagged as “Careers”. If they have job vacancies, they often include the information in that section. Similarly, you can search for companies whose line of business is in your field of expertise. You can also visit the careers section of the companies you wish to work for directly. This way, you can avoid multiple futile interview calls.

2. Ask for referrals from family, friends, and acquaintances of possible job openings. Find out as much detail about the position as possible. Then, come prepared with your CV and be ready for a possible on-the-spot interview.

3. Take to professional networking media like LinkedIn. Try to connect to someone who knows someone in the target company or the recruiter, at least. They will give you more information about the work culture, hiring pattern, career opportunities or even things to be careful about, like undisclosed job requirements like travelling, unrealistic sales targets and so on.

Are fake job ads a big problem?

Only 17% of undergraduates know about online fraud. Gen Z’s knowledge of the technologies makes them more sensitive at work scams. Young candidates are most susceptible to scams according to What kind of crimes is likely to result if a person dies while still being harmed? Why? Some younger people. Only 17 per cent of students understand job fraud

Is it illegal to post fake job ads?

Real jobs advertisements are illegal in principle but proving them as being fake is difficult. Scammers often request payment via e-money in an anonymous way — digital cash that won’t leave a transaction trail. Advanced fees fraud is a little easier to find but even this has become a more difficult problem due to electronically generated dollars. It’s the word which is against their word and every form of questioning could easily be ignored with ‘we’re hiring ‘ or ‘We’ve had a vacancy but couldn’t find anyone for the role.’

Job scams and crime

SAFERjobs reported that there were £500,000-plus frauds between September 2015 and September 2016. Amongst the targets are 18–24-year-olds who have on average lost £4,000 of income. Another way criminals manifest are to essentially ‘hire out’ people for money laundering purposes. Over 15% of Britain has witnessed this type of advert. The concept is that people are ordered to accept money and deposit it in another bank account. It tends to have been obtained by dodging means and then transferred.

Why do people post fake job ads?

Although it might sound absurd that so-called true adverts exist, there is nowhere to escape it. Tell me the purpose behind people posting jobs without actually seeking their dream job? Why then do people advertise?

The illusion of a fair process

The most recent study suggests online job deflation remains a concern among students. Even though they already make their opinions, such companies may make public their position to provide the impression of fair and open races. It would appear to me in a desperate bid to calm both employers and candidates in time for the company’s nephew sashay’s opening. For all the tech savoriness of Gen Z only 17 % of students have any experience with jobs fraud. Job fraud is often attributed to nepotism or favours rather than someone who is not suitable for the task.

To assess the market

Often employers don’t know the right answer because they may dip their toe into the pool of vacancies and staff members and/or potential replacement candidates. Employers also check out salaries or learn new qualifications. While not justified it allows employers to view the standard of the candidate market without the burden to choose from it.

To collect CVs

Nothing goes forever — even the best people. Change of circumstances or retirement may result in hiring drives. Placing fake job advertising allows an employer to prepare their CVs and apply for the position at hand. Fake advertising allows an employer to actually compile CVs.

Please note

Recruiters and recruiting directors use Modern Hire for planning and managing virtual interviews. While processing applications applicants may receive letters of information from If you know whether any Roche recruiting emails are legitimate or not please see below for the answers.

Scammers are taking advantage of jobseekers, and companies with no interest in recruiting are advertising jobs just to stack up CVs for months or even years into the future


Advanced fee fraud is one of the most frequently reported types of job scams in the UK. Candidates are also asked to pay fake police tests administrative fees or training fees. Another theft-like scam that can be used is ID. Uninformed job seekers can fork out major sums.

You must always be on your toes whether you are seeking full-time employment, looking for an extra source of income, or just plainly checking the field. It is stressful enough not to spend money on your basic needs; getting swindled is even more devastating. So again, never fail to use your better judgment when looking for job opportunities.

In the end, it’s up to you. If something sounds fishy or doesn’t seem right, then trust your gut and don’t respond to that ad! There are plenty of other opportunities out there for someone qualified like yourself. Good luck in finding a job with better pay and benefits than this one might’ve been if they had just been upfront about their business practices from the start!

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