Job applicants at a career fare. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Despite repeated warnings from the authorities, recruitment agencies and leading companies, many job-seekers are still continuing to find themselves being duped into job scams — often ending up either paying large sums of money or in the worst case scenario, travelling all the way to the UAE only to find that the promised job and accommodation did not even exist!

Making matters even more complicated is the fact that these rackets are also getting savvier with their techniques. There are recruitment websites that apparently look authentic. These websites often have fake reviews from supposed job-seekers, have fake email accounts that look identical to some actual one belonging to a reputable company, thereby making it even more easier for gullible job-seekers to fall prey. Job-scammers working online can dupe candidates based in any part of the world.

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A reader has shared with Gulf News an experience about a job offer that apparently came from Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai Festival City. In reality, this particular hotel has no existence in Festival City!

Abu Dhabi Police recently warned job-seekers against fake employment schemes and alerted them to be on the guard against such fraudulent activities. Authorities in the UAE have regularly issued such warnings, alerting candidates on proper procedures and channels to go through when dealing with job offers.

Online fraudsters caught by UAE authorities face a jail sentence of not less than a year, with fines ranging from Dh250,000 to Dh1 million.

The best thing to do is to run a thorough search on the company’s website and then drop an email or make a phone call to verify the opening.

There are several telltale signs to look out for when trying to spot a fake offer.

Asking for money

This is the first red flag, when a supposed recruitment agency starts asking for a fee upfront. As per UAE labour laws, it is illegal for recruitment agencies and companies to charge job candidates and employees any fee before or during the recruitment process or for their residence visa and work permit applications.

Legitimate companies will never ask for these fees. So that is an important marker to determine genuine offers and spot a real job offer from a fake one.

Due diligence

Do your own quick research. Many a time, job scams involve offers from companies that do not even exist. Or sometimes, the company name maybe real, but with a location branch that doesn’t exist.

The best thing to do is to always first check if the company actually exists and if the offer is related to a legitimate company. Then run a simple search on whether the company actually has a branch or office at the location advertised.

Offers too good to be true

If a job offer looks too good to be true, then chances are it is so. Fraudsters will often offer big salaries along with very attractive perks and allowances.

One has to simply use common sense in judging such cases. If what is being offered is way above the average then that’s the warning sign that something is wrong. As a job-seeker, you already have an idea about the average salary for the industry type. So anything that is beyond the average should be treated with suspicion.

A quick search on the internet will often give you a fair idea about the average salary for the kind of job that has been advertised.

Don’t be an easy target

Do not simply fall for an email making an enticing job offer. Check the email thoroughly, verify who the sender is and then ask yourself if you have actually applied with the company that has approached you.

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It’s also important to not share any sensitive and confidential information with anyone making a job offer. Real companies or recruitment agencies will never ask for such details, just as they won’t ask for upfront payment of any fee.