Beware of Employment Traps

Employment Traps

Some swindlers always take advantage of job seekers¡¯ eagerness to find jobs or their carelessness, and defraud them of money or cause them other losses. As employment traps may take different forms, job seekers should always stay alert and be cautious when searching for jobs to avoid falling into these traps and suffering any losses. Job seekers may seek help from relevant departments when needed. 
The following paragraphs provide more detailed information of some common employment traps.

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Trap 1: Pyramid Selling Schemes

Be cautious about sales jobs offering handsome pay or generous commissions. Some marketing companies or companies of direct sales place recruitment advertisements and persistently persuade applicants during job interviews to buy their goods in order to join the sales business. Job seekers may be persuaded to get an overdraft or a loan from financial institutions. Some may even go into bankruptcy if they fail to repay the loan. If you find that the job involves hierarchical sharing of commission (i.e. pyramid selling) and the prices of the goods are higher than the market prices; or participants have to pay a large sum of money to join the scheme and make profit through recruiting scheme members (including relatives and friends) as your lower-tiered staff rather than selling products, you should decline the job offer.

Trap 2: Vice Traps

Many entertainment establishments may engage in vice activities in disguise. Usually, the operators use high-paying jobs to attract job seekers who will uncover the truth only after they have signed the contracts.

Trap 3: Talent Scout Scams

Some people introduce themselves as representatives from modelling agencies or dubbing companies. They approach internet surfers or passers-by and claim that they have great potential to be models in commercials, singers, movie stars or fitting models, thereby inducing them to pay fees for training classes, beauty services or fitness courses; or even camera charges, recommendation fee or deposits. However, no job may be referred eventually and the money paid will not be returned. Some job seekers may even fall into vice traps.

Trap 4: Financial and Investment Scams

Some swindlers pose themselves as operators of foreign exchange investment or marketing companies and offer handsome pay to enlist job seekers for the posts of clerk, copyist and cleaning staff, etc. They then persistently encourage their staff to make investments or even persuade them to be transferred to investment posts in order to entice them to pour in their own or their relatives¡¯ and friends¡¯ money. In the end, they deceive their staff¡¯s money by claiming that there is a loss in investments.

Trap 5: Theft of Personal Data

Under the pretext of recruitment, the culprits solicit important personal data from job seekers, such as information on identity card, bank accounts and credit cards. The personal data obtained will be used for application for loan from banks or financial institutions in the name of the job seekers, who eventually have to bear the responsibility of repaying the loan.

Trap 6: Unlawful Work

Some bad elements manipulate job seekers to commit illegal deeds, such as selling pirated or counterfeit goods, transporting legally prohibited parallel-imported goods, illegal fund raising, debt collection for loan sharks and money laundering through offering bank account data so that they may get off the hook when the crime is detected by the police.

Trap 7: Charging Unreasonable Fees

Some swindlers make up reasons under the pretext of recruitment to impose unreasonable fees on job seekers in the name of different charges, such as registration fee, data processing fee, administration fee and documentation fee.

Trap 8: Luring Job Seekers to Pursue Further Studies

Under the pretext of recruitment, some swindlers induce job seekers to pay fees for training classes or other courses during job interviews. You should be alert to these scams.

Trap 9: Fraud Online Recruitment

Fraudsters post deceptive recruitment message on discussion forum, social media websites or through smart phone apps to prey upon job seekers. Job seekers are cheated of property or personal data at the job interviews. The personal data would be used to transfer money from their bank accounts or in other crimes. You should be vigilant of recruitment advertisement of companies with dubious background or promising lucrative returns.


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Detecting Employment Traps

There are various employment traps. You can avoid falling into the snares of criminals if you are cautious and prudent.

Below are some methods to detect employment traps:

Be pragmatic when you search for jobs. Don¡¯t believe in job advertisements requiring barely any experience or qualifications but offering a good sum of money. Check if the salary offered and the job requirements are realistic and commensurate with the market level. You should have general knowledge of the company background, scope of duties and the trade or industry concerned before applying for a job.

Mind your personal safety when going for an interview. Heighten your vigilance if the interview is conducted too hastily or you are offered a job right away without any interview.

Normally, employees are not required to pay fees when they take up a job. Ask for the reasons if you are required to pay fees. Moreover, you should not readily produce personal particulars such as your identity card, bank cards and cheques.

Before you sign the contract, read all the terms carefully, including those stipulated in the staff handbooks. Don¡¯t sign contracts immediately if there are terms that you are not clear or are unfavourable to you. You should request taking away the contract for study before signing it. Companies generally allow job applicants taking away the contracts for consideration before signing contracts at a later time.

Don't sign any agreement or authorization such as bank authorization if you are in doubt in order to avoid loss.

If you are offered a job, check whether your duties are consistent with the descriptions set out in the job advertisement or discussed during interviews. Moreover, be alert if the employer persuades you to transfer to other jobs relating to investment or sales. Refuse unreasonable demands and never take up illegal duties. If you perform any duties against the law, you may commit a crime that will ruin your life.

Keep abreast of current affairs and beware of the tricks of swindlers. Acquaint yourself with the rights and benefits of an employee. If you have any doubts, consult your family members or friends. Seek advice or assistance from related bodies such as the Police or the Labour Department when necessary.