Warning: Job Recruiter's Online Scam
Fake Job recruiters after your resumes and offers guarantee interviews for a fee.
At least 10 firms, many of which are global companies with offices in Singapore, have posted notices on their websites alerting job seekers of a new online scam that has evolved recently. The scam involves illegitimate job recruiters promising job seekers a chance for recruitment at local brand-name companies such as SingTel and Shell, with some even guaranteeing an interview with the prospective employer. The "recruiters" are out to acquire job seekers' resumes containing personal information, and a fee for their 'recruitment' services. These online "recruiters" usually pose as representatives for reputable companies, offering high-salaried jobs to both foreigners and locals, and asking for interested parties to send in their resumes. Once the person's resume has been received, they then ask for money to be transferred for employment-related expenses.
Telco SingTel firm realised something was amiss when it started receiving feedback on its website from job applicants in Pakistan, citing that a representative from its human resources department had been asking them for money in return for a guaranteed interview. SingTel has since lodged a police report, both in Singapore and Pakistan. Petroleum giant, Shell, is another company that received information that some organisations have been pretending to recruit on its behalf. Mr Raghu Ram, its regional recruitment manager of Asia Pacific and the Middle East said that "new recruits" had been asked to transfer significant sums of money to pay for work permits and insurance policies. The websites of other firms like Sembcorp, Mandarin Oriental hotel group and ExxonMobil have posted notices to alert job seekers of the scam.
Another victim, Millennium & Copthorne International - a hotel group, said its investigations revealed that such frauds are usually done through online services, such as bogus websites. The perpetrators often ask applicants to fill in bogus application forms and visa forms - complete with the group's name and logo on the documents. The hotel's vice-president of human resources Ms Erica Chui elaborated, "We have seen the creation of fraudulent domain name URLs, and have notified the Internet service providers of these fraudulent URLs. Some have been cooperative in assisting us to remove them so they're no longer active." Mr Josh Goh - Assistant Director of Corporate Services at recruitment firm The GMP Group, said those impersonating HR personnel from bigger firms could be fly-by-night recruitment agencies, who know it will be easier for them to get job seekers' details using the name of bigger firms. He does not rule out the possibility that some unscrupulous people are doing this to make quick money.
Symantec - a security firm, explained that such scammers target resumes because they contain sensitive and personal information, such as the person's address, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, which they can use to their advantage. "This wealth of information that enables them to reap financial gains when sold in the underground economy is the very core of scams," said its systems engineering manager Ronnie Ng. He added on that information such as bank account credentials, e-mail addresses, passwords and even an individual's complete identity were most requested in the underground economy. To avoid falling victim to such scams, Police are advising job seekers to be wary of offers that require fees to be paid in advance. Job seekers should also be vigilant of job offers coming from e-mail addresses that could be from free Web-based e-mail providers.