How to Identify (and avoid) Employment Scams
Employment scams are becoming more popular as persons seek to profit from the need for jobs in this difficult job market. It is crucial that job seekers be able to identify potential scams and protect themselves from paying costly fees for the promise of employment.
Popular Employment Scams:
1. The Local Employment Agency
An agency will show up in a poplar location, placing numerous job ads and claiming to recruit for local companies. They target skilled workers in the areas of hospitality, food service and construction. In many instances there is a fee for registration which then escalates to the promise of employment if placement fees or fees for uniforms are paid. Once enough persons have paid, or reports are made to the authority, the agency closes.
2. The Overseas Employment Agency
Similar to the local scam, these agencies target persons seeking employment Overseas (usually, the US, UK and Canada). Registration fees are requested from jobs seekers who are told they will be placed in various industries overseas. This Scam goes so far as to collect passports from persons with the promise of supplying work visas. Persons are then asked to pay exorbitant visa costs and plane ticket fees.
3. The Fake Company
Persons will pretend to be from an already established company and claim to be recruiting for various positions. Payment is sometimes requested through PayPal or bank transfer. It has been reported that persons will show up at offices with fees or make inquiries at the actual company only to find out that there is no recruitment process.
How to Avoid these Scams
1. Investigate companies – Be wary of Employment Agencies that do not post their company name*
If you are unfamiliar with the company, check the following things:
- Web Presence – most companies will have a website providing information
- Directory Listing – Check the directory/ Yellow Pages/ RedBook etc. to ensure that the company exists.
- Company registration – A The Companies Office of Jamaica will let you know if a company is registered to operate
*Note that some reputable companies will avoid including their company name in job ads to avoid numerous inquiries.
2. Do not supply personal documents
Unless you are being hired, companies will have no reason to request copies of identification (passport, licence, TRN, NIS). If a job ad requests these do not send them in.
3. Check with the Ministry of Labour
Overseas employment programmes (farm work and hospitality jobs) are regulated through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS). If you are suspicious of a company, call the MLSS to check that the company is reputable.
4. Report Suspected Scams
Report suspected scams to the authorities or the MLSS
Please note that The Jamaica Career Network will NEVER solicit funds from job seekers. We provide a free job listing service and will not call you or offer job placement for fees. All the jobs we list/advertize on the site are from paying external partners. It is up to the jobseekers to do their own research when it comes to these jobs.
We are happy to answer any questions you have. Please email us at CareerJamaica[@]gmail.com
Please be careful during your job search