One of the most expansive scammer markets has always been the job fraud SMS that once began with the traditional approach of physical make-shift and transformed into the cutting-edge digital landscape. Scammers find the feature of job fraud SMS very luring and useful that can enable them to chat with the target the instant they click on the link.
It is no denying that the vast population of youth in India do not always achieve the employment opportunities they seek. With resources limited and job vacancies running the challenge of high competition, stress accelerates the people to get driven towards messages claiming to offer high-paying jobs instantly. The scammers prey on these vulnerable groups by sending part-time or full-time jobs, tempting them into clicking on the suspicious link.
This fraudulent practice expanded its roots even more after the Covid-19 pandemic, when people lost their jobs and were looking for employment, side hustles to keep their expenses up and running. What happened more during this phase was scammers tuning into the desperate job seekers and sending fake jobs, interviews, recruitment SMS and charging money in exchange.
However, understanding how to differentiate legitimate work opportunities and fake ones, while searching for both full-time and part-time employment is a tricky road. Often, in times of stress, we tend to overlook the obvious signs that can refrain us from getting victimized by such scammers.
List of common job fraud scams that one must be aware of
- Gaining Access to Personal Financial Information
Scammers use the instant messaging service to send fake job interview links to job interviewers and job seekers. With a set-up that will land you in a fraudulent job offer, the illegitimate company would ask for your banking information and ID proof. The moment you send in these details, the scammers would be nowhere to be located, while you compromise your personal information.
- Lacking Verifiable Information
While, with those job SMS you would feel you finally landed your dream job, but as you inspect further, you realize that there is absolutely no data available about the company. To your dismay, you cannot even verify their website address, employee or phone number. It now hits you that you have been scammed. We live in an age of digital disruption, where every legitimate company whether big or small has an online presence, testimonials, decent following and social media engagement. So, not having any of these is a clear indication of fraud in the process.
The most common and the most popular that have encroached on your phone calls, SMS, emails, texts. You name a platform, and phishing scams will find their presence, defrauding people. Moreover, when it comes to job fraud SMS, phishing scams already have a vulnerable lot to target. Phishing job fraud SMS appear to have come from a trusted source or a well-known business. This is why when you receive a job SMS, it is vital to connect directly to the company, look for their online presence, and employee feedback, rather than trusting the SMS and beginning text communication.
- Data Entry Scams
The one job that has made headlines for scamming job seekers is the data entry job fraud SMS that comes with the promise of a handsome earning, with almost negligible skills. Well, the scam is in its details itself!
Moreover, the tempting SMS masquerade a small training fee that needs to be paid upfront, which will commence your employment journey. However, the data entry jobs rarely pay the amounts as advertised, and most are just scams waiting for vulnerable people to take the bait and become a victim, never to the very existence of the company and its fake employees.
- Pyramid Marketing
Pyramid marketing is not only illegal but holds no real basis in commerce. While there is no physical product involved in a pyramid scheme, its marketing incorporates the exchange of capital. People get job fraud SMS on pyramid schemes, which ask them to invest in the scheme and get benefits from investments made by those people who follow them into the marketing program. However, in the equation of pyramid marketing, if someone has to make money, some other person has to lose funds.
- Wire Transfers
More often than not, people receive job fraud SMS in the form of offer letter confirmation, or promising a confirmed job overseas, but with a catch. The SMS usually asks the target to send small funds to an account through a wire transfer. These people who send SMS, claim to be either an employment agency or the company’s executive.
While sometimes the claim for a money transfer might seem legitimate, no genuine company would ask wire transfer to confirm a job vacancy. Wire transfer would move the money so quickly from one account to another, that it becomes difficult to reverse and the victim loses the money forever.
Once the target receives these messages from random numbers that carry a suspicious link or a promise of a job offer, the temptation to refrain from it is the true test of your security. These scammers who leverage people’s interest in full-time and work from home opportunities are usually meant to steal your credentials and data to access business networks.
So, how do you save yourself from the inevitable job SMS fraud? If you ever receive such text messages, below are a few tips.
Tips that can stop you from getting scammed
Ignorance is bliss
Take it literally! If verifying the source of the job SMS is not possible, then simply ignore the message, no matter how tempting it sounds. Take a step forward and block the number from which you receive such SMS.
Sender is a mobile number
Usually, companies that need to send bulk SMS are required to do a proper Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) registration with the telecom provider. Companies create a unique sender code for the SMS that identifies the company. If the SMS you received doesn’t have any sender code (usually alphabetic) and is sent from a mobile number, it is most certainly a fraud SMS.
Identify bad grammar or sentences
Some of the job fraud SMS use improper grammar or have spelling mistakes that can be identified easily. Any legitimate company never fails to cross-check the messages they send, and grammar is one such aspect that cannot go wrong with them. Therefore, look for these red flags that can eventually save you from getting scammed.
Finally, report the incident and block the suspicious number. Always remember that it is advisable to keep your safety on priority even in the most tempting of situations and never click on suspicious links, no matter the curiosity.
Installing a fraud SMS detection solution
You can also use a mobile app that can detect fraud SMS received on your phone.
To assist in a safe and secured digital journey, Finlock offers an AI-powered online fraud protection solution. Finlock detects and alerts you 24/7, of any suspicious fraud SMS. This best-in-class app not only provides real-time fraud alerts but also provides stolen funds reimbursement of up to ₹5 lakh in the event of online fraud.
In a Nutshell!
The job ad postings that are almost too good to be true are often the ones that will swindle your time and money with fake promises. With their sense of urgency and monetary exchange, even if small, you would be driven to a fraudulent agency or individual’s trap, never to see the joining letter in your email account. However, what can save you all this trouble is a sense of vigilance and assistance from online fraud protection sources.