Fake job offers - racket run by cyber criminals

Fake job offers - racket run by cyber criminals

47 online scammers posing as fake recruiters were arrested.

Job scams have become prevalent when pandemic-hit businesses are laying off people and joblessness is growing. Criminals and conmen are using names of entities, both real and fictitious to lure jobseekers.

Police have repeatedly warned the public against giving money to dubious individuals. Still, many job seekers continue to fall for attractive but fictitious job offers and end up losing money.

This week, Dubai Police arrested 47 online scammers who carried out a host of cybercrimes, including posing as fake job recruiters to extort money from victims along with committing blackmail and cyber extortion.

The principal scam was to create websites that looked identical to those of established companies. One such website (reported by Gulf News) was that of the non-existent Hiba EP Group of companies with a purported Abu Dhabi address. Between March and June the bogus Hiba EP Group shot off scores of fake job offer-letters to aspirants worldwide, promising attractive salaries, free accommodation and a raft of monthly allowances.

Several such incidents of fraudulent job offers have been exposed. By law, employers cannot charge money from job applicants.

Job scam warning signs

  • Anything about it (particularly outrageous salary/perks) is too good to be true
  • They contacted you out of the blue
  • They ask for money towards registration/processing fee/other charges
  • The language of the appointment letter is sloppy
  • Cellphone numbers instead of landline
  • They offer to hire you without proper interview.
  • Job related emails from free email accounts (gmail, yahoo, hotmail) instead of corporate email accounts
  • Fake URLs (websites)

Job seekers should be cautious and use their best judgement while approaching recruiters.

Being alert and obtaining information from trusted sources, understanding the hiring process and UAE labour laws before responding to job offers is highly recommended.