4 common employment traps and how to avoid them

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Some swindlers take advantage of job seekers’ eagerness to find jobs and defraud them of money or other benefits.

Sometimes because of desperation many become victims. Yes, victims. But what could be wrong about or in the job hunt? You’re probably asking yourself. Many things can be dangerous.

We’ve heard of people who were ripped off by supposed employers, or at least someone who was the direct link to supposed hiring managers. Many have lost fortunes. Many have been abused.

Still more have been victims of human trafficking. Many things go on in the job market. Don’t even think you can never become a victim. These things happen in our world. So it is vitally important that job seekers are able to spot and avoid these traps. Charlatans exist out there. It’s just a matter of who could be one around you?

Here are a few common employment traps:

Pyramid selling schemes

Some marketing or direct sales companies attract job seekers by advertising handsome pay posts, and persistently persuade job seekers during job interviews to buy their goods to join the sales business. You know all about them. Don’t you?

These Ponzi schemes take different forms, hey! Now, because you were able to score some “fortunes” it doesn’t mean that such an opening is a safe bet. People get ripped off in these things. Beware. It’s not a matter of will you be ripped off. It’s matter of when.

The trick is, 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 you are asked to pay a large sum of money to join the scheme; and to make profit through recruiting scheme members (including relatives, friends and schoolmates) as your lower-tiered staff rather than selling products, that’s a red flag. Run.

Vice traps

Many people have experienced these. You are brought into an attractive and high paying job opening. The people really seem all nice. But, boy, you can’t detect their ulterior motives. These are what can rightly be called “ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Very often these operators would make use of high-paying jobs to attract job seekers. Innocent job seekers will learn the real job nature or working conditions only after signing the contracts. You should be alert and avoid being lured to engage in such activities.

Don’t even think you’ve got this. Many of the victims, at one stage thought they’ve got it too. But, for all you know, it got them all this time. Bad things happen out there. Watch you’re back.

Talent scouting scams

Tell you what, there are roaring lions out there seeking whom they can devour. Whether online or in person, some swindlers have already abused many.

People have been seduced into paying for “supposedly” high paying jobs because according to these swindlers they possessed the right talent and all they needed was some recommendation, which of course cost something. To their dismay, no jobs ever came through. It turned out to be a lie. Be sure not to be outwitted out there.

Fraudulent online recruitment

As online recruitment has become more popular, some scammers post deceptive recruitment messages through discussion forums, social media or smart phone apps to prey upon job seekers. Job seekers are then cheated of property or personal data when chatting online.

Their personal data could be used to transfer money from their bank accounts or in other crimes. There are also cases that job seekers are promised to be paid for buying Game Cards at convenience stores. Upon receipt of the serial number and PIN number of the Game Card from the job seekers, the scammers would sell the Game Cards for money and disappear into thin air.

Social media illiteracy has been used by these swindlers to rip off people. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Be vigilant out there.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.