Our recent series of articles have been focused on scams and the role Mobile Money plays in the grand scheme of things. From romance scams to discount scams by sham businesses, there are many ways one can easily lose money due to naivety or simply trusting things as they appear at face value.
Employment scams are on the rise, and while it may seem weird that people continue to fall for such schemes, you need to understand their desperation to upgrade from their ‘unemployed’ status is what makes them easy prey for employment scammers.
This type of fraud is the focus of our article; employment scams and why people still fall for them in this age.

Employment scams: What are they?

To put it simply, it is the act of defrauding people out of various sums of money or other benefits under the pretext of securing them a job.
Some perpetrators even go to the extent of issuing out appointment letters to their victims, who end up waiting for a date to begin working; a date that never arrives.

What are some examples?

There are two employment scams we’ll touch on here. The application form sale, and the registration to be trained for new companies scam.

The application form sale

The most common example is the ‘application form sale’ type of scam. With this, victims are asked to purchase application forms in order to qualify for interviews. After a while, the victims are contacted and informed of their failure to make it to the next stage of the process.
It’s all a lie; there was never a position available in the first place. The scam is in the sale of application forms and once you’ve made payment, consider your money lost.
These types of scams are perpetrated in the name of reputable institutions. Here in Ghana, the Police service, Armed Forces recruitment, and institutions such as the Customs service recruitments are ‘ambushed’ upon by scammers who want to fleece desperate job seekers.

Training for in-bound multinational companies

Another pretext the fraudsters use is to convince people that they are local coordinators for a multinational company that’s about to start operating in the country. After convincing their victims that their fortunes are about to change in a couple of month’s time, they get them to make payment into their Mobile Money accounts as registration and training fees for their future positions in the company.
The training sessions would only consist of some basic reminders on ethics and customer relations and that would be it. Needless to say, the company would postpone their local launch and that would be the end of that employment adventure.

The way forward: Staying safe

As the unemployment rate keeps rising and jobs get scarce, the situation forces people to improvise their way out of poverty and hardship. And for people operating employment scams and their like, that becomes the business that sustains them. Which is why you should be careful what job offers and hints you give your attention to or invest money into.
Being asked to pay for interview opportunities should raise red flags on your radar because unless you were buying recruitment forms for the security services in Ghana, you shouldn’t have to pay for an interview. Even if it is the largest tech company in the world.
The reason being that such employment scams are used to narrow the field of applicants and generate some income on the side. Paying for the interview guarantees nothing because as stated earlier, there are chosen candidates already in place and those interviews are ‘last minute’ money making ventures for the boys. They need money too… sometimes more than you do.
And of course, all these scams are associated with Mobile Money fraud because as the scammers need your money in the quickest untraceable manner, they request that you make deposits via MoMo only. No bank accounts.

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This article on employment scams using Mobile Money is part of a series JBKlutse.com is developing to educate the public about Mobile Money fraudsters, their activities, and how to stay vigilant and not be a victim.
For stories of this sort and more, do well to log on to www.jbklutse.com or visit us on Facebook. To report a typo, email the editor: editor@jbklutse.com.

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