WhatsApp Job Scams in Malaysia: How to Overcome?
Wed, 20 Jul 2022
How Does WhatsApp/SMS Job Scam Work?
Let’s say you are a job seeker. First, you would encounter an ad or a message on WhatsApp or iMessage with a job offer with a very high salary amount. Regardless of where you found the ad, they will redirect you to contact them through WhatsApp if interested in the job.
Next, when contacting through the number provided, they’ll introduce themselves as being from a certain company or Shopee, and they will claim that they are helping Shopee sellers to boost the sellers’ ratings on Shopee.
You will then be asked to join a WhatsApp group. After joining the group, you will be contacted individually by a person known as the “Instructor”, who will guide you on how you would perform the tasks in the job. However, the main task is to buy an item on Shopee or other eCommerce sites before they reimburse you with a certain percentage of commission.
When the transaction is done successfully, you will gain trust among them and even yourself, and they will ask you to purchase more items. When you want to claim your money back, they would say that they can’t due to a system issue.
To overcome the problem, they will tell you that you have to make a more significant purchase. But that would also mean you would have to spend thousands of Ringgit, which you may not be able to get back.
Things To Look For In This Job Scam
There are several red flags that are obvious in a job scam.
1. You could not find the persons in charge of the job on social media or anywhere else online.
If you cannot find their profile on LinkedIn or any other website and social media, it means they might be using fake accounts, or they might be using different names.
By right, employers and employees that are hiring should be open about their profiles so that people can quickly identify them.
2. The person claiming to be from Shopee or another company doesn’t know anything about the company.
They don’t know what products or services Shopee provides. But, if they do know, they should be able to explain it to you. They should also be familiar with the company’s policies and procedures.
By right, jobs that require purchasing items to boost the sellers’ ratings may violate Shopee’s and other eCommerce site’s terms and conditions.
3. There are spelling or grammatical errors in their writing and company naming.
This shows they are not familiar with the proper spelling or the correct names. It also means that they are not native English speakers.
But the point is their errors are too obvious, to the extent that it makes you think twice whether they’re really from the company or not.
4. A company ask their employees to fork out vast sums of money upfront.
Companies should never ask for large amounts of money upfront. If they do, there must be something wrong with the company.
This is because companies usually pay their employees after they’ve completed their work, not the other way around.
5. No offer letter is provided.
An employer should provide an official offer letter to their employee to safeguard both parties. Unfortunately, in the case of this job scam, no such letter has been provided.
An offer letter contains all the details regarding the employment contract, including salary, benefits, working hours, etc. Not providing an offer letter means that the employer is trying to take advantage of the situation.
Job Scams on WhatsApp & Social Media - How To Avoid Them?
There are many ways that you can avoid being scammed by job scams. Here are some tips on how to avoid them:
1. Never send money to anyone who contacts you via WhatsApp or any other messaging app.
If the employer asks for money or to pay for certain things upfront while doing the job, it’s likely a scam. This is because you are supposed to get paid for the work you have done, not the other way around.
Especially if you are working for a company for the first time, never give out your personal information, such as your credit or debit card number, which they could potentially use.
2. Do not give out any personal information just because they ask for it.
When someone asks you for your phone number, address, bank account details etc., it could be a sign that they want to steal your identity. So never provide this kind of information unless you know the person very well or the company is reputable.
3. Be careful when accepting job interview invitations from strangers.
You should only accept invitations if you trust the person inviting you. Therefore, asking people you trust, like your friends or family members, is always better before accepting an invitation.
Additionally, research the stranger’s background online before agreeing to the job.
4. Always check the company’s name and contact details.
Before accepting any job offers, always double-check the company name and contact information. This includes checking whether the company has a valid business license and whether there are complaints against the company beforehand.
5. Check how they have written the job descriptions and communication style.
If you notice many grammatical errors in the job description, it might mean that the people involved are not proficient in English, and most likely, it would be a scam.
6. Check the job description carefully.
Make sure you understand what the job entails before agreeing to take part. If you don’t feel comfortable about the job, simply say no.
On the other hand, if the job description depicts the tasks that seem too good to be true, then it probably is. So it's best not to engage to it in the first place.
7. Only use reputable job sites and portals.
It is important to only apply for jobs through trusted websites and portals. Many job scams happen on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These scams usually involve employers asking for money or personal information.
Jobs advertised through job portals are more legit due to the fact that companies are required to follow specific procedures and verifications.
8. Use a trustable recruitment company.
Finding a proper job that matches your skills and requirements can be challenging, especially when job scams are getting more and more prevalent these days. Therefore, using a reliable recruitment company is highly recommended.
Unlike finding a job yourself, recruitment companies like Upscale have years of experience in matching candidates with suitable positions.
With Upscale, we can help you find a suitable job opportunity based on your skills and experience, matching you and your employer with proper job selections.
Go to www.upscale.my for more information!