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We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help companies in Hong Kong meet their needs.

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Practical tips to avoid getting trapped in a job scam

The recent rise in cases of fraudulently scamming job seekers in the pretext of lucrative and high paying jobs has been rather concerning. These job scams can have long lasting and severe effects on your safety and put your personal data at risk of being misused. It is very important to be alert and be aware of whom you are reaching out to for jobs, how they interact with you and how the overall recruitment process pans out, especially when it involves the prospect of relocating overseas. 


Here are some practical tips on how to avoid falling prey to job scams:


1. Check for known red flags

For any communication coming your wat that you haven't initiated, look out for some obvious red flags to verify authenticity of the sender:

  • The company has no website or official social media accounts
  • The domain in the recruiter’s email address does not match the correct, official website of a legitimate company or organization
  • Job details are sent on Whatsapp/SMS/telegram or from unofficial email accounts
  • The job description is vague, unclear and has many typos or grammatical mistakes
  • The focus is not on roles & responsibilities but more on attractive salaries, quick benefits etc.


2. You are asked to divulge personal information

Although it’s a normal practice for companies to seek your personal information, it is almost always done at later stages of recruitment, once offer letter is given out. But be extra careful on what information they ask for, for example, bank account details are something which should never be shared. Before signing any documents or forms asking for sensitive data, make sure you verify if that information is really required as often scammers might misuse your personal data.


3. Never pay money!

Scammers often ask for payments to be made in the name of application fee, deposit or in lieu of reserving a seat for you. Never pay heed to such requests to pay money. A genuine and trusted recruiter or a recruiting company will never ask for money at any stage of your recruitment process or in exchange for their services.


4. Too good to be true

In a market where employers are trying to stand out, if you find a job offer that is all about making quick money and other incentives – proceed with caution! Read the job details and skills requirement carefully. If you find there is less information on the actual role and more about added benefits – that’s your red flag.


5. Do your research & check with credible sources

Before accepting any interview offers or sharing any information, do your due diligence and do background research on the company. Understand the company’s background, business field and look out for any sign that might look suspicious. When in doubt, check if the company is registered and if their contact details are legitimate. You can also discuss it with you friends or family to get second opinion on the authenticity of the company.

Overall, the best way to handle such situations is to simply ignore. Whenever you get some unsolicited job postings which look fishy, simply don’t respond. Such job scams require active engagement from both sides, so if you don’t act on it, it reduces the chances of falling into such traps altogether.


To safeguard yourself and your personal information, look for below aspects when you speak to a recruiter for a job:

  • Recruiters should be able to share their company website and email address with their company domain
  • Recruiters will initiate and follow a formal interview process and keep all information transparent with you
  • They will never make any request for payments at any stage of the recruitment process
  • The conversation focus will be more on the job role and skills and capabilities required for the job
  • They will be in a good position to answer your questions about the role and the company
  • Additionally, a genuine recruiting company should be able to provide their ‘Employment Agency (EA)      license number if requested.


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