Job Scams and What to Do

The number of people out and about searching for jobs increases every year. Unfortunately, so does the number of job scams.

To be able to tell if a job is real you can

Be Vigilant
The more poplar a job position is the more it will attract job seekers and scammers. Popular jobs like administration officer, personnel officer, office assistant, secretary, front desk, cashier, purchasing officer, marketing assistant, book-keeper, and add to this list jobs that require driving. With titles of personal driver, delivery driver, truck driver, fork-lift and heavy equipment drivers.

These are very popular roles that are highly sought after and as such are a scammer’s gold mine. Scammers will use these job titles and their requirements to post legitimate looking opportunities. However, once you’ve applied, they may reach out for more personal information, money or both.
Do not be too quick to give out money or personal information. Do some digging.

Research the Source
Make sure you are applying for a post that does really exist. Many individuals or companies have a digital foot print so do a search on line. Also, if the company’s communication is sent from a generic email domain, be suspicious. Scammers sometimes create look-alike email domains to fool job seekers.

If you find that employer is not easy to find when doing a web search try the physical address or the phone number. Contact them directly and find out about the job you have been told about or have seen in a post.
Most organizations will have all the information of any open posts and sometimes of posts that will become available in the future.

Look for Inconsistencies
Sometimes the easiest way to know if something online is fake is by just reading it. The number of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will give it away. So if a job offer is written poorly, be suspicious. Recruiters have a good grasp of how to word a job offer. So read the advertisement and check for spelling errors or grammatical errors.

Even if the advertisement is well written, it might have other inconsistencies. It may have the words ‘Junior’ or ‘Assistant’. Which for a young person is ideal as an entry level job, but as you read on, the job requires several years of experience and some other pre-requisites that make it read like it is not an entry level job. Entry level jobs are an ideal bait that scammers use to reel in their victims.

Sometimes, though not every job posting is fake but the position is already taken. And the employer will be obliged to go through the process. In fact, they are really only just going through the motions so they are seen to be doing the right thing.

Observe How They Communicate
If the person offering the job is asking you to communicate only via a Direct Message this is a red flag. Communication is almost always done through official avenues of communication. An official offer letter, a face-to-face meeting, a phone call, or through email from a company-official domain. Contact via apps is rarely if ever used by official head hunters.

However, this does not say that you cannot contact someone via an app if you have verified them. Just, remember to share nothing and believe no one until you have done some digging and verified the information.

Take a Note of What They Ask For Immediately
If the employer is asking you for copies of important personal identity information, such as driver licenses, banking information, or your national registration card. Resist handing this information over.

Sending personal identification information via the web to potential employers is not advisable. Especially, if you have not met, have not gotten the job and have not agreed beforehand to send this information.

Job scammers will use the information you send them to commit other crimes or will sell it on to other unscrupulous people.

The Job Sounds Too Good to Be True
If it is too good to be true. It probably is a scam. Typical offers will have lures about working online, working from home, getting paid for certain hours of work and receiving a higher salary than the full-time worker’s average for the same job etc. These perks that sound too good to be true are there to lure you into sending information, money or spending hours on a job that will eventually not be what it was advertised to be!


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo