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19 Ways to Spot a Different Kind of Job Scam

Posted: 21/02/2012 5:00:00 AM by AMMA Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Energy, Job-seekers, Mining, Oil-and-gas, Recruitment, Construction

We’ve written before about how to spot a job scam but are noticing a new flavour of the old dog around town. Preying on desperate jobseekers, the companies pose as job search marketing firms, recruitment companies and even mining and contracting operations. In every case, a promise is made that investing your money in their service will enhance your ability to get a job.

Here’s how it works. A company will offer an online jobs board or a recruitment service open to the general public. If you want to boost your chances of getting a job, you can pay extra money to get special treatment. An implied promise is made – or even explicitly stated – that people who invest in these services have a better chance of securing a job.

19 characteristics of a job scam

  1. Guaranteeing you will get a job.
  2. Charging money for a recruitment service, often in the range of $1000 to $5000.
  3. Offering to provide ‘extra’ information to employers not provided about other jobseekers.
  4. Guaranteeing your resume will be given top priority over more qualified jobseekers.
  5. Offering a start bonus when you secure a job.
  6. Offering services normally available for free or at a much cheaper price.
  7. Promising to introduce you to a ‘secret’ or ‘exclusive’ network of people.
  8. Demanding money up front.
  9. Using words and phrases like VIP, premium package, fast track or special service to imply you’re getting additional benefit.
  10. Listing credentials that can’t be confirmed.
  11. Supplying references or case studies that are unavailable for a private conversation.
  12. Operating from another country.
  13. Being new in town.
  14. Frequently changing company names.
  15. Claiming to have ‘inside information’ unavailable to other recruitment agencies.
  16. Getting a call out of the blue – or being headhunted - offering a special service for jobseekers.
  17. Refusing to identify employers where your resume will be presented.
  18. Phones are not answered professionally or not answered at all.
  19. If It sounds too good to be true, you can bet is it.

Job scam tip-offs

How can you be sure it's a job scam? Many of the websites touting special services look professional. Below are examples of the kinds of claims you can expect to find from someone running a scam.
  • Invest in our VIP service allowing you a bigger profile and a a better chance to land a job
  • GUARANTEED SUCCESS: Find a Secure, High-Paying Mining Job in Australia in 35 Days or Less
  • I personally know people in the Human Resources departments of the big players in the mining, construction and electrical engineering companies

What you should know

Recruiters, jobs boards and ‘consultants’ do not have the ability to influence hiring choices for an employer. The only people who truly make a decision are the hiring managers of each employer. No reputable recruiter or recruitment firm would charge the jobseeker a fee. Successful recruiters spend a lot of time cultivating relationships with employers and they wouldn’t dream of jeopardising that with unsavoury business practices.

Regardless of the claims made, anyone asking you for money to help secure a job is likely running a scam. Beware of these services. You’re better off investing your money in a first-aid course than lining the pockets of a shady dealer trying to cash in on the mining boom. 

Find a job

You can search for legitimate job openings at the AMMA website. We only list real jobs from real employers and you don't have to pay to use our service.

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Image: David Castillo Dominici /

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