This article contains information on everything on Signs of Fake Job Invite and How to Avoid Falling Prey in Nigeria.
I had pictured how my life would play out after graduation. Infact, I was literally counting down the number of days I had to become a graduate inorder to start bringing the things I anticipated to reality. “After graduation, I would go for NYSC immediately and with the help of the little connections I felt I had I would secure my dream job and start earning six figures, at least for a starter” All these were what I anticipated in my heart of hearts.
Of course, I graduated successfully but my NYSC was delayed for two years. In those years I tried to get busy by getting a job but to no avail. At some point I got frustrated but tried to excuse my not getting a job with the fact that I hadn’t gone for NYSC (National Youth Service). That’s what we’re made to believe in society that adores discharge certificates more than experience on the job.
Eventually, I finally went for NYSC and a few weeks into my passing out (POP), I started receiving interview emails. Sometimes, I received from organizations I don’t remember applying to and one day a particular mail pricked me. Deep down it was a prayer answered. Good a thing, the interview was in a state very close to where I was serving and I made up my mind to attend.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I couldn’t make it to the interview on the scheduled date and as such I planned to reschedule. Somehow, I became uncomfortable with the interview when I started receiving numerous emails and text messages from the said company, almost begging me to reschedule whenever it was convenient for me. With the help of a friend, I was able to discover it was a fake job invite.
Scam or fake job invitations have been in existence for a long time worldwide, but recently, it has taken different turns with more deadly strategies especially in Nigeria.
Every year, millions of Nigerians are caught up in employment scams. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a scam and a genuine offer. So, before you jubilate and dress up for that interview, familiarize yourself with the red flags that will be mentioned in order to save you the looming danger.
SIGNS OF A FAKE JOB INVITATION IN NIGERIA
Here are the warning signs of a fake job invitation:
1. You Didn’t Contact Them but They Contacted You
In a country where many employers treat their employees like trash under the guise of “there are millions who will willingly replace you”, it is very rare and almost unbelievable to have an organization contact you for an interview without you applying for a job.
From reports, many victims confirmed that they were first contacted. Of course that was my case too as earlier stated. So, the first warning sign is that you will be contacted first. It can be via emails, social media or some job sites.
2. Unprofessional Emails
Most of the time, interview invitations are usually sent via emails. This is applicable for both fake and genuine invites. Sometimes, it might be difficult to differentiate a fake from a genuine invite, especially when the scammers have good communication skills but the good thing is that a good number of fake invitation emails have a lot of glaring communication errors.
Real organizations will always hire professionals who can write well. Thus, if the email contains spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors, that’s a warning sign that shouldn’t be ignored.
The Human resources have just reviewed your resume because of the one you posted on www.activejobs.com.You are now scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager of the company. His name is Mr. ****, for more information call +23481300****
Looking at the example above, there were punctuation, capitalization and grammar errors.
No sane and real company will send such unprofessional email with Human Resources written as human resources, numerous punctuations without a spacing afterwards and other errors.
3. Vague Job Requirements and Job Description
Ideally, every company is expected to include a list of the job requirements and description in the email. Scammers try to make their emails look very authentic by doing this too. Usually, these requirements are so simple that almost everyone qualifies.
For example, you are likely to see the following as part of the requirements;
- Must be a citizen of Nigeria
- Must be 18 years old and above
- Must have access to the internet.
- Must be able to read and write
- Years of experience are inconsequential as you will be trained on the job, etc.
In Nigeria where genuine employers and years of experience are like bread and butter, the above example is a big red flag. The job requirements don’t mention years of experience. As a rule of, if it’s a real job, the requirements will be quite specific and more difficult.
Again, job scam emails usually don’t include clear job descriptions.
4. The Pay is High Much Higher than Typical Nigerian Job
Apart from highly lucrative professional jobs, there are certain positions that ordinarily the salary range is very predictable.
Imagine receiving a mail where you’re offered One hundred and fifty thousand naira for the role of office cleaner. Many who are greedy and desperate will certainly fall for this but if you’re smart enough, this should be a big warning sign.
5. Emails Don’t Include Contact Information
Sometimes, scam job emails come without the supposed company’s address and contact. In some cases, you might even receive the invite via a personal email address. Oftentimes, these are terrible warning signs.
Other times, these miscreants behind the scenes may try to play smart by using seemingly genuine company email. When this is the case, there is a way to unravel this.
6. Virtual Interview
It’s very unfortunate that scam activities have made it difficult for people to identify authentic opportunities. I once got a job through a phone interview and only went for a physical meeting afterwards but in a public location.
Many scammers have used this strategy to get a lot of victims. The online interview may go smoothly without loopholes but where the warning sign lies is always in the instructions given after the interview. These are always the signs to look out for in this case;
- They may ask for confidential information such as your bank information, etc.
- When asked to call a particular number on getting to a particular location
- When asked to pay a certain amount of money for one thing or the other. Legitimate companies don’t ask for money. If you’re told you need to purchase or pay for certain services, beware.
7. Search Results Don’t Add Up
Finding information about a company online does not guarantee the company is genuine but once you search for details about the company and the search result doesn’t add up, that’s a big warning sign.
I have once received a job invite from a particular company of which I ended up discovering nothing about them on search engines. Not even the so-called address which was included in the mail I received.
8. Your Gut says It’s a Scam
Carrying out research about the company is basically your best defense, but some scammers have become very clever. As humans, we have been naturally blessed with the ability to sense when things are not right but sometimes, people ignore these strange feelings. However, if you start to feel that things aren’t right, trust your intuition. Ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. Slow down the process and don’t be pressured. I have ignored many job invitations based on this factor.
These are common signs of a fake job invite. Many times these signs are very glaring but out of desperation and sometimes greed, many people end up falling victims. So many times, people ignore these signs to take the risk with the belief that the worst thing that can happen is being scammed of money but unfortunately, most of these people are no longer money scammers but ritualists who are after unsuspecting and vulnerable job seekers to lure with mouthwatering offers.
HOW TO AVOID FALLING VICTIM OF FAKE JOB INTERVIEWS
Now that you’re familiar with the warning signs, below are ways to avoid playing into the arms of these criminals.
1. Scrutinize the Interview Invitation Well
You can either get an interview invite through mail or from “friends”. When it’s a mail, look out for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Check for the job requirements and address too.
Oftentimes, these devourers may try to play smart by dropping requirements that even a baby can meet and in your mind it looks attractive.
When the address is included ensure you carry out an in-depth research about the company. Make research like your life depends on it and of course your life is at stake you know?
Don’t just assume, go to Google, Nairaland, LinkedIn and every other platform where you can find first-hand information and employers and job vacancies.
Google is the world’s number one search engine, and if the job you are being invited to has any traces of the company name or the name of the HRM, it’s advisable for you to do a quick Google search. You will surely find something that will help you to identify if it’s a scam or genuine.
When the invite is coming from friends, especially social media “friends”, you need very careful. Though appearance can be deceitful, it’s not so difficult to spot a person of repute.
When the invite is coming from a social media connection, consider the following:
- Who is that friend inviting you for an interview?
- How long have you known them? Even if you don’t know them, did you research about their activities on social media before jumping at the offer?
When it’s too good to be true, take a step back. In other words, ask questions and do proper research.
2. Keep Track of Your Emails
In a situation where many individuals have sent uncountable job applications, this is impossible but if you can, it is always important to keep track of the roles you applied for via email. This will enable you to identify when you’re been contacted by a company you have never applied to, which is one of the warning signs.
3. Never Go To an Interview without a Specified Location
I have seen many cases where an email included the number of a third party to be contacted without the company’s address and when asked the next response was “when you get to ****location, call the number and someone will come and pick you up.
Many ignorant people still fall for this. No legit company will offer you such luxury. When you hear this, you need to run in the opposite direction. Most times these mails are from ritual killers disguised as employers.
4. Visit the Location before the Interview
This is a good idea but what if you received the invite a day to the interview? Of course, visiting the location becomes impossible. Personally, I believe that if proper research is done, you wouldn’t even need to stress yourself and also spend the little you have to visit a location just to confirm if they are legit. However, in a situation where it is possible for you to visit the location, endeavour to do so, observe the environment and possibly ask questions from people around. Many unsuspecting employees have escaped falling victims by simply visiting the supposed company’s address before the scheduled interview.
5. Listen to the Inner Voice
If you’re a very sensitive person, there are times an inner voice will speak to you when you are faced with decision making. If your spirit kicks against certain invites please don’t push it aside out of desperation. This has saved a lot of people.
Fake interview invites have led a lot of people to their untimely death. A trending case which has brought tears to the eyes of many Nigerians is the case of Miss Iniobong, the fresh graduate from Akwa-Ibom state, Nigeria who met her death during what was supposed to be a job interview courtesy of a social media connection.
This and many other cases are the reasons we ought to be extremely careful, hence, the reason for this article. I will stop here but remember, learn to ask questions, make proper research from search engines like Google, make NAIRALAND and other sites in that category your friend if you’re a job seeker and lastly, look out for the emails you receive. Remember, not all that glitter is gold.
Only the living can work. Beware and smart.
Good luck in your job search and be safe.
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