By Sudhakar Raja
With so many people looking for work, it is no surprise that there are those who would try to take advantage of the situation. Another twist to this tale is also that there are many jobs and no takers for them. This has led to job scams, which now have become a major concern in India, and they can have a significant impact on fair hiring practices.
Job scams come in many different forms, but they all have one thing in common:- they prey on people’s hopes and dreams of finding jobs. Many a times it also plays on the “greed” factor of people who are trying to make a quick buck instead of preferring the good old-fashioned jobs where people have to actually do some hard work.
Scammers may pose as legitimate employers, offering high-paying positions with little or no experience required. They may also ask for personal information, such as bank account numbers or AADHAR numbers, in order to “process” your application. Once they have your information, they can use it to commit identity theft or other crimes. In other cases, you may get “high paying” part time work which is usually thousands of rupees for an hour effort which is playing on greed.
Top companies with strongly guarded reputations across industries regularly turn away people who show up at their offices with fake offers and appointment letters. These offers are issued by scamsters posing as HR employees to innocent candidates that are desperate for a job. In turn, these candidates end up borrowing huge sums of money and paying these scamsters believing that they can repay their debts using the money that their new jobs will bring. Companies and HR professionals lose face in such instances and end up taking the brunt of the ill will of the candidates. Jobs scams have a devastating impact on victims as well. They may lose money, their personal information, and their sense of security.
In addition to the impact on individual victims, job scams can also have a negative impact on fair hiring practices in India. When people are afraid of being scammed, they may be less likely to apply for jobs, even if they are qualified. This can make it more difficult for employers to find qualified candidates, and it can also lead to discrimination against certain groups of people, such as women and minorities. Fake and fraudulent companies that engage in such scams also need to be reported and blacklisted on human risk mitigation platforms.
Finding candidates is difficult but many rely only on a couple of job portals and recruitment agencies.
- Adopt the latest technologies such as Open Jobs API, it makes it easy to integrate with many other job portals. This will help you find a new talent pool.
- Hire a recruitment agency for the right reasons. Do a background check on the recruitment agency. Make sure the employees working for such firms are screened and vetted.
- Ask the colleges and institutions you hire from to adopt degree verification platforms and put a placement cell software.
- Your brand reputation is at risk. Implement Identity Verification widgets as this will help not only job-hunting candidates but also your customer or related parties to verify the authenticity of the individuals who claim to be working in your organization.
By being aware of the risks and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help to avoid becoming a victim of a job scam. You can also help create a more fair and equitable hiring environment in India. Some common red flags include:
- If you have been a victim of online fraud, you can report to https://cybercrime.gov.in this is easy to do right from the comfort of your home and at any time.
- Reputed companies do not cold email candidates from personal email addresses or text people from random whatsapp numbers. Please ensure that you check the details of the companies that approach you.
- If it is too good to be true, then IT IS. A job post claiming to offer Rs. 2000 to Rs. 12,000 for a few hours of work or part-time work is too good to be true and is guaranteed to be scamster or recruiting you to be one.
- The biggest red flag is when there is money demanded to provide a job offer or participate in the selection process. No companies of repute will engage in such practices. Immediately report such cases to cybercrime.
- Companies will use official channels to communicate. Ensure that you check the domain name and other details in the communications that are received. Reputed organizations tend to have standard methods for approaching people and usually do not attempt to rush the process.
- If the person on the other side is pushing you to participate quickly, they are trying to create a false sense of urgency to prevent you from seeing the loopholes. Take a step back and think through what you are being asked to do. Go through the financial details of the company that are available online and try to gather as much information about the person who is trying to recruit you before taking any steps to engage with an unsolicited job offer.
- Use human risk mitigation platforms to check the employees and the companies that you are being approached by. This allows you to ensure that you can verify the person approaching you instantly on the company website.
If you see any of these red flags, it is best to avoid the job and report the scam to the authorities.
By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from job scams and ensure that you have a fair chance of finding a legitimate job in India.
(The author is Sudhakar Raja, Founder & CEO, TRST Score, and the views expressed in this article are his own)