real job vs. fake job.

This is the first article of a four-part series where we will be offering suggestions to help you stay safe in your job search.


how do you know if the job advertisement is real or fake? what are the telling signs to look out for?

To know if a job is legitimate, here are some tips to help you identify a fake job advertisement so you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim to one of the many job scams.

1. the job is too good to be true

You are a fresh graduate looking for your very first job and come across a job advertisement on Facebook or Whatsapp about a job offer for more than RM 50,000 (SGD 17,000) per annum. However, you would find out later from other reputable sources that the industry average for the job is only at RM 30,000 (SGD 10,000) per annum. This is the first sign that the job posting is likely to be fake.

If you ever come across this type of bogus offer, make sure to delete, unfollow and block the number straight away.

2. vague job description

Job scammers are experts at making the fake job offers look real by listing very specific job requirements. However, these requirements are often irrelevant and false. In addition, job-related skills are sometimes not included in the list of job requirements of the bogus offer.

Some irrelevant job requirements that scammers include are: 

  • must have a valid passport
  • no relevant experience needed
  • willing to travel overseas

You can choose to ignore the advertisement or call the employer directly to ask for the full job description to determine its authenticity.

3. sent from a personal email

One of the biggest giveaway is the email address that the bogus job offer has been sent from. If it’s sent from a personal email account and has a domain such as ‘gmail.com’ or ‘hotmail.com’, it is definitely sent from a job scammer.

Real job offers are sent from a company’s registered email domain such as ‘randstad.com.my’. Some experienced job scammers create template emails that are similar to the company’s domain but may include a hyphen that most people will not notice. Therefore, it is important to always be careful and look out for the small details.

4. you have been asked to transfer money

After replying to the fake job offer, you will typically be asked to transfer money or pay cash to the job scammer to cover expenses required to confirm the job.

These scammers will usually ask for payment to cover the following fake ‘expenses’:

  • insurance
  • medical test
  • travel visa/work visa application

It’s important for you to note that recruitment agencies and employers will pay for any expenses required to confirm the job opportunity. At Randstad, we will never ask you for money or financial remuneration of any kind to help you in your job search.

5. job offers you didn’t apply for

The most obvious sign of a fake job offer is receiving one that you did not even apply for. When a recruitment agency or an employer randomly selects you and sends you a job offer without any other form of prior communications with you, it is highly likely to be a bogus advertisement.

If you are looking and have applied for multiple job offers, remember to keep a record of the ones you have applied for to ensure that you are able to filter and remove any bogus job offers.

If you suspect that you are a target of a job scam or have already been scammed, reach out to your local authorities immediately to report the crime.

By filing a report with the local authorities, you are helping us raise awareness of job scams and protecting your family and friends from becoming victims of scams.

You can also submit an e-report to the following Malaysian authorities:

For more information, please read the following: http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/announcements/2016/0617-scam-alert


Looking to make your next career move? Randstad is one of the world’s largest recruitment and HR services providers, and our Singapore office has more than 20 years' experience placing high-calibre mid to senior level professionals in companies across multiple industries. Start your job search with us today.


read the other articles in the series:

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