Career Advice

Don’t Be the Victim of Job Scams: Watching Out for Red Flags

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(2 min read)

The #StayAlertStaySmart blog series helps candidates identify and counteract job scams. We provide information to help you be cautious and informed during your job search.


Job seekers can be vulnerable to scams that attract targets with fake opportunities. They then ask you to provide personal information or pay for services upfront. In this blog, Divay Bhardwaj, Employer Brand Lead for IBM India Talent Acquisition, shares some of the red flags that job seekers should watch out for during their search.

Imagine you’ve been looking for your dream career opportunity. After a rigorous search, you finally land a great offer. You start preparing to make your best impression on your first day of work, only to be told that the organization never offered you an opportunity! You’ve been a victim of a job scam. Sadly, this scenario is becoming all too common as job scammers target honest people.


Want to protect yourself from this kind of scam? Here are some signs to help you decide if a career opportunity is real or a fraud:


1. Are the “recruiters” asking for money?

If any recruiter or agency asks you for money to get a job offer, this is very likely a case of fraud. No reputable organization asks for money from the candidate, especially not before you start with the job. On the other hand, candidates do not pay recruiting agencies. Companies pay agencies when they place a candidate.


2. Are the “recruiters” asking for sensitive personal information?

Another obvious sign of a scam is being asked for your bank account number, credit card number, or other confidential information. You should be wary of answering questions that may help scammers crack your passwords or answer your security questions. They ask job seekers for this information as part of the “application process” or when filling out initial forms, sometimes even before the actual interview has taken place.


3. Does it sound like the job opportunity is too good to be true?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers entice job seekers by offering jobs that pay unreasonably well and don’t require much effort to land. So if they seem overly eager to hire you, especially if you are underqualified for the role, agree to all your requests, or make incredible promises about your future, you are likely getting scammed.


Now that you have these tips, listen to your intuition. If there’s any reason to doubt, err on the side of caution and keep looking for opportunities elsewhere.

More information on how to beware of job scams can be found here.


About the Author

Divay Bhardwaj joined IBM in 2017 as an HR Partner and in his current role as the Employer Branding Lead for India/South Asia, he is responsible to attract the right talent for IBM. He loves traveling to new places and stock market investing.

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