Ways to Avoid Illegal Recruitment
November 24, 2020
CATEGORY: Career Hacks

Getting a chance to work abroad in industrialised countries such as Japan is a privilege as it can open you to doors of opportunity. Opportunities include a chance to earn more than your home country’s minimum wage, meet new culture, learn a new language or build your career. On the other hand, there are red flags that you must be wary of especially when you browse an eye-catching job ad which may turn out to be bogus. Here’s what to do to save time and money from such masquerading job ads.

Verify job ad with your country’s overseas employment regulatory agency

It’s likely that your country has an attached agency to the foreign affairs office that takes care of citizens planning to work abroad. Your country’s government has laws that mandate employment agencies to register and have a license to operate and offer jobs. Also, be wary that even some licensed agencies get involved in bogus practices. 

Double-check the contract

If you got a contract, this means you’re already near in your way to being deployed in the land of the rising sun. The contract contains anything such as the rights of an employee and the employer. It also details the time duration, vacation, and salary. Always clarify if the overtime is also paid as there are shady practices such as the non-declaration of overtime payments. So if you sign a contract without verifying if working beyond the 8 hours daily work, you’ll regret working for unpaid overtime.

If the employer or agency insists on keeping your passport 

If an employer or agency wants to keep your passport from the start of the contract until its end, they are violating labour law. Keeping passports is illegal for two reasons:

  • Passports are government property - It’s stated in the back cover.

  • Passports should not be kept as per the labour law of the host country

Watch out for signs of bogus job offer

If you’re investigative, you can spot the signs of fake or shady jobs. The following are some of these signs:

  • The employer or recruiter asks for an upfront payment before signing a contract or reserve a job offer.

  • Inflated number of recruits - A fake job can turn 10 vacancies into a hundred.

  • You’re asked to meet in a restaurant instead of the office.

  • A too good to be true job offer - There’s no such high-paying legal job without giving a high skilled service unless you won a lottery.

  • Using a free email instead of a professional email  - abcorp@gmail vs

  • The job ad is written in poor grammar.

  • No interviews needed - This is a fishy way to scam you. They don’t bother to interview you, but you already got the offer.

  • They use a sense of urgency and limited vacancy -  Illegal recruiters will try to convince you to hurry up or else you’ll lose an opportunity. 

  • They yowl for followers - Job descriptions and posts are desperate for more followers.

  • Repeated job ads - You’ll wonder if those vacancies will ever be filled up.

  • Unconventional ways of an interview - While video call interviews are okay, interviews via texts or chat is a way for fraudsters to sabotage a fair discussion.

Be wary of social media

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are alternative platforms for posting job ads and reaching out customers. Unfortunately, the liberty of making a free account opens the door to fraudsters that cleverly make job offers that aren’t easily seen by prying eyes. For instance, these things could happen on a fake job on the Facebook page.

Fake job FB page

  • Without a blue verified check sign, although this isn’t an absolute sign since there are also genuine pages without the blue mark.

  • Few followers and likes

  • Complaints posted in the comments or review sections

  • Uses stock photos as a profile to recruit

  • Doesn’t have a link to an official page and if so it leads to a bogus or phishing website

  • Broad job posts (no company/job details, emails, reference links, and phone number)

  • Requesting documents ASAP (passport, photos, CV)

Genuine job FB page

  • Shows a blue verified sign

  • Many followers and likes

  • Posted message on reviews and comment section confirming the genuineness of the page

  • With a link to an official website

  • Detailed links with company/job details, emails, reference links, and phone number

Don’t work under a tourist visa

Working under a tourist visa can send you into trouble. It’s illegal to work paid or unpaid and doing so can have you apprehended by the host country’s immigration authorities and send you back to your home country. Always work under a working visa.

Research the company online

In today’s IT-driven economy, a website is a must for companies to reach out to more clients and survive in the digital economy. If you stumble upon a job offer from a company without a site, you can consider it as a reason to worry or doubt with healthy scepticism. If they can’t invest in a decent website, how can they put their resources on hiring new people? Companies who hide their real name is another red flag. 

If there’s a website, the following are applicable.

  • Look for reviews - On the review section, you’ll see customers’ experience or feedback. Look for reviews or ratings in the business directories such as Yelp Japan.

  • Find the SSL sign - A website doing business is more trusted if it has an SSL certificate - symbolised by a padlock found in the upper left corner of the URL bar.

Visit a trusted job aggregator site

Job aggregators are time and money savers. It helps you reduce the time looking for job ads that are a real deal. Job aggregators compile or list databases of companies and their vacancies. They make sure that the job posted and the poster are from legit companies. is an example of a credible job aggregator site.

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