Every day people fall for fraudulent job agents and become victims of their scams. Such fake job agents/agencies not only disappear and waste a good sum of money of yours but also waste your precious time.
Just when you feel that you have landed your dream job and you will have everything you ever desired to have, but within the next minute it all turns upside down. All your hard work, money, and time go into the drain for nothing.
Phishing has become money for old rope the people who masquerade as a trusted entity and play with our trust. It has left millions of people hopeless as even police and other law eng=forcement agencies are unable to track down the fraudsters.
That’s why it’s imperative for us to know the correct means of distinguishing between the genuine one and the fraudulent one. It’s always better to take precautions than going for an uncertain cure.
What blunders do maritime job websites make that result in an increase in such cases?
There are ample websites that commit the following mistakes. To them, it might seem like a small mistake, but to us, it can cost our dreams, our money, our time.
1) They provide online platforms to job agents without confirming or at times even checking their credibility and authenticity.
2) Such job websites don’t bother to provide proper information and addresses of the companies advertised.
3) Some job websites are themselves involved in marketing scam posting and sell personal details and resumes of those who posted them on their website.
In the end, you need to put in that extra effort, because websites like these will get away by blaming you in turn by saying “it was not their responsibility, you should have been careful.” The victim has to suffer by the end. So in order to avoid such scenarios, you must put in the extra effort and be heedful.
Also read: Top Websites For Merchant Navy Jobs
Few tips that will help you spot a fraudulent advertisement
The ones who are new to the online job search market will find it difficult to distinguish between a genuine advertisement and that of a fake advertisement at the first glance. A little more awareness will help you spot some of the bizarre and bogus claims.
In order to save yourself from such fraudulent adversities/websites, go through the following points so that you get a glimpse of how things work-
1) If a website asks for the posting of your resume for free, it is likely to be a scam. They can further sell your CV to other scammers who in turn will contact you stating that “We found your resume online. Congrats, you are selected for the interview or job.”
2) If the advertisement looks too good to be true then you are right, it is. Don’t fall for the attractive claims of such companies as it is very likely to be a phishing scam.
3) Don’t trust advertisements posted on social media sites. Nowadays social networking websites such as Instagram and Facebook are brimming with job fraudsters. Social networking sites have become popular platforms for scamsters.
4) If you receive emails from companies/individuals whose domains are Gmail, Hotmail, etc. then these are is very likely to be untrustworthy companies.
5) If the job seems too easy to get, as in you received a message in the form of text or email that you bagged the job knowing that you did nothing more than posting a resume, then it is not worth a try.
6) Avoid opening emails/messages that contain unexpected or uncanny attachments. These attachments may contain a malicious virus, ransomware, or some sort of online threat. This in turn will unknowingly drive you to plunder your valuables to the phisher. But if you are still avid and curious, you can reach the provided link by entering the valid website address into your browser manually.
7) If an employer asks you to deposit some amount of money before you join as a procedure of security or recruitment fee, then you must not contact the employer further. It is their way of stealing away the money from you.
8) If the email from the company contains vague or careless grammatical mistakes then you must consider verifying the contact information provided on its website.
In order to keep safe from getting into such a mess, you must practice and implement safe browsing techniques whenever you login into Facebook and read advertisements, check your mail, or play games online.
Also read: Top 10 Merchant Navy Myths Debunked
Tactics used by Fraudulent Job Agents to lure you into falling a prey
There have been a plethora number of cases involving huge sums of money being taken, along with wastage of ample time and efforts which ultimately led to a boulevard of broken dreams for innocent people who were trying to build a promising career for themselves.
What’s worse is that the number of such cases is only escalating as fraudsters are taking advantage of the increase in unemployment in the industry.
We must be aware at all times. Let us skim through some of the tactics done by the fraudsters who set a bait for innocent seafarers:
1) Many of them camouflage themselves as agents who provide all the necessary information about seats left in for filling job in so and so shipping company.
2) Just by having little knowledge, they build fake websites and market fake jobs to target innocents and jobless people.
3) Act very politely and sympathetic when it comes to hiring. You will notice that they easily offer you the job, and in some cases, they are the ones approaching you for getting hired in so and so job.
4) Promise to offer placement in return for a handsome sum of money beforehand from the seafarers.
5) Introduce themselves as company supervisors or assistants and claim to provide jobs on their behalf, which explicitly are fake ones.
6) Asking for CDC and other important seafaring documents from the aspiring seafarers in exchange for sending them to foreign countries for the job. Later on, they make vague excuses stating that the documents were misplaced or lost, and then smartly charge unnecessary fees for retrieving the documents back.
Can the ship management companies be held accountable for such malpractices?
Explicitly not all shipping management companies are genuine. Some of the companies are engaged in such wrongdoings, intentionally or not.
Some of the shipping management companies provide a joining date to a candidate prior to a month or two. As the date approaches, they keep procrastinating, sometimes making the candidate work for up to a year. The poor candidate remains in a state of dilemma as he has to wait further and keep his faith intact.
This does not stop here as ship management companies sometimes give authorization to fake personnel for posting advertisements online or on maritime job websites.
This is how the fraudsters find the opportunity and post these requirements under fake names. The ship management companies must ensure that there are no malicious practices being carried out by any sort of company, they must push themselves to make the extra effort required to slam down such scammers.
The pain of falling for such scams comes at the cost of unexpected sources of stress that take you back and harm you the most. If you too are willing to stop their growth in the industry, then we must join hands together. Innocent seafarers must not be subjected to mental breakdowns.
You must have faith in your intuition, but don’t let yourself get swept away by fear or greed. It’s time to stop the proliferation of such fraudulent job providers in the shipping industry. Together we all can just by being cautious.
Let us invoke our inner call of consciousness and fight back against the wrongdoers in the best way possible. Strict actions must be taken against the fraudsters who get away easily. We must create and raise fear among them so that they think twice before attempting such kind of an ill practice. We are capable enough to significantly eradicate the fostering of such malicious websites/advertisements once and for all. Until then keep safe, and take the necessary precautions.
I hope you found this article helpful.