How to Get the Better of Job Scamsters

Michael Magness Jr. Senior Technical Security & Forensics Investigations Specialist, IBM Corporate Security, shares with us some tips on how to avoid being duped – To be certain that an employment opportunity is genuine, it may be necessary, sometimes, to interview your interviewer. 

Stay Alert.pngIt is a dark reality that for every real job advertisement, there could be hundreds of job scams. Job scamsters seem to be a growing tribe and they come up with new tactics, all the time, to dupe unsuspecting job seekers. Before going for that coveted job interview, how do you know that the job you are applying for is legitimate? How do you find out that the person isn’t a fraudster out to get your money? Here are some tips on how not to get duped by job scamsters.

Are you being asked for money?

If they’re making you pay for giving you a job, that’s a fraud. Under no circumstances does a legitimate company charge anyone for giving him a job. Fraudsters may call it interview fees, an employment bond or a corporate kit, but beware. If a company thinks you have the potential, it will usually fit the cost of any expenses that might have been incurred as part of the recruitment process.

Besides providing for local transport costs, which includes hiring a taxi or an auto rickshaw, getting interviewed is almost always free of any monetary exchange between you and the company where you have applied for a job. Even if you have to travel between states or countries, the company will usually fit the bill.

Watch the email domain

While communicating by email, one of the simplest ways to tell if the recruiter is genuine is to look at their email domain. As the act of employing you is part of recruiters’ official duties, any correspondence should come only from their official company email domain. Excuses such as “work email down”, “I don’t have remote access” and “we need to hire now” should not be accepted. Always ask for an email from their official email address.

A simple web search will reveal what are valid corporate domains. Most companies will have an employment portal on the web and will have information clarifying this. Do not accept any offers from people who primarily communicate via webmail portals like,, or unless they can prove who they are by sending you an email from their corporate domain. As a rule, be suspicious of any random email communication offering you employment. A good suggestion would be to do a web search on how to detect email spoofing, which will arm you with enough information to detect fake offers.

Scrutinize the job advertisement

While some of them may be “walk-ins”, any specific job role you’re applying for, at least at the larger MNCs, should have a job reference number. This job reference number can be linked back to a company’s external-facing employment web portal.

Where the interview is being held can often reveal a job’s authenticity. The majority of MNCs conduct their interviews at a meeting room in a facility belonging to them. The interviewer will always wear a corporate badge or swipe card which bears their name and identifiable photograph along with the name and logo of the company. If the interview is conducted at a coffee shop, the cafeteria or campus area, it is better to ask the recruiters to prove their identity.

Personal details should stay out

Personal details, which include bank account details, are never sought during the interview process. Those details are required during the on-boarding phase of employment, which is after you’ve been hired. This never happens before hiring is completed. No additional personal information is required apart from what is mentioned in the CV.

Hiring takes time

The hiring process usually takes time and requires multiple rounds of interviews. More senior roles have been known to have seven interview rounds or more.

For seekers of online job

When applying for jobs online, stick with the major career portals. Most MNCs in India will have their own sub-portals within those sites. As it is in the public domain, social media can be used by scamsters to target job seekers. It helps to be suspicious of anyone approaching you with an employment opportunity through social media unless you can verify the source.
Additionally, while classified sites are a great place for bargains, also exercise extreme caution and confirm the authenticity of the job before applying. The old adage — “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is” — applies. A simple web search will display the major job portals used in India.

Ask for their credentials

If they are not forthcoming and push back, it means they’re trying to hide something. Legitimate employers or their representatives will happily furnish their credentials and show you how to validate the authenticity of the role you are applying for.

Finally, report it

Whether you’ve detected a scam or have been duped despite your research, report it to either the appropriate authorities or the companies the scamsters claim they are representing. All MNCs take fraud very seriously as this affects their brand reputation directly. A simple web search will reveal methods of contacting companies to report this. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it should put you in the frame of mind to decide for yourself whether the job is real or not. It cannot be stressed enough that being forewarned is being forearmed and the more research you do, the better you are at protecting yourself against fraud.

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