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How to spot a fake UAE job interview

 

DUBAI – So you have received an email for a job interview. How do you know if it is legit or just another scam?

With the rising global unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic, jobseekers in the UAE have recently complained about scammers taking advantage of the situation.

In a recent Expatmedia.net report, some jobseekers said they were lured to fake job interviews only to be duped into paying up to Dh300 to scammers posing as recruiters or HR personnel.

Early this month, Dubai Police arrested dozens of fake recruiters and online scammers in a major crackdown, and warned jobseekers to be on alert for fraudsters.

Expatmedia.net spoke to HR experts Shen Dee Quah and Olga Alvarez, and Mohammed Al Khairy, legal consultant of HHS Lawyers in Dubai, to give us their thoughts on how to spot fake job interview offers.

“These scammers often use spam emails as bait to get victims to visit their office on the pretext of a job interview, and once there, they will ask money as a processing fee,” Alvarez said, adding that one of her friends fell victim to the ploy.

So how do you tell a scam from the real deal? The experts share their tips on signs to watch out for:

1. Job interview offer that you didn’t apply for

Did you even apply for the job in the first place? If you didn’t and you still got a job interview offer letter, chances are it is from a spammer trying to lure you into falling for their scam.

2. Email not sent from company email address

The easiest way to detect a scam is to look at the email address your job interview letter was sent from. Was your interview offer sent through a personal email address? It might be a scam. Most genuine companies would not use Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail email accounts to send out official emails, Alvarez said.

UAE-based company Enoc, which has been targeted by scammers in the past, have repeatedly warned jobseekers of scam emails, and said that any official correspondence is made through an Enoc email address with the domain @enoc.com.

3. Fake email and fake website

So, they have a website or an email that looks legit. But is it really? The real deal is in the details, so make sure to do your research. Some fraudsters have taken their scam a notch further by creating fake email accounts and even websites that closely resemble the real company’s email or website.

For example, the official website might be officialwebsite.com but scammers may create a fake one with a number, extra letter, and so on, so the fake website could be officialwebsite1.com or official-website.com.

4. Mobile number in contact detail

Most genuine companies would not give a mobile number in their contact details. Genuine companies have a business telephone line, and emails from their official email address contain a signature with full contact details, according to Mohammed Al Khairy, legal consultant of HHS Lawyers.

In case a mobile number is given, it should just be a supplementary number, and a primary business telephone number should still be provided.

5. Email not properly addressed to applicant

When an email salutation says “Dear applicant”, take it as a red flag. “It is a sign it might be spam,” says HR expert Shen Dee Quah.

If you applied for the job, the recruiter should know your name and contact you personally through their official email address or business telephone line.

6. Grammar mistakes in email

One such email seen by Expatmedia.net was riddled with punctuation errors and grammatical mistakes, such as “congratulations we intends” and “passports justifying you visa statues”.

Quah says badly written emails or letters are a tell-tale sign that the interview offer is fake.

7. No company name

Which company is inviting you to a job interview? If it’s not indicated in their email, then take it as a red flag. “Would you want to work for a company that is not proud to even disclose its name?” Quah asked.

Scammers will not include a company name in their letter because the company doesn’t exist in the first place.

8. Asking for personal information

It is likely a fake interview offer if they are asking you to bring a passport copy, visa copy, CV copy and photo on what is supposed to be just a job interview. If the company had contacted you after genuinely receiving your application, then they should presumably have a copy of your CV and don’t need to ask you for another one.

Before sharing personal details, it is important to do your due diligence in researching the background of the company, HHS Lawyers’ legal consultant advised.

9. No proper office

Genuine companies have proper offices that are clearly identified with signages on their door or reception area. Be wary when visiting so-called offices in apartments or residential buildings.

10. Asking for money

The biggest red flag is when you are asked to pay for reservation fees or processing fees. Genuine companies will not ask you to pay for an interview or a job offer. ICA/Expat Media


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