Tips and guidelines to avoid
overseas employment scams
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It is not easy to spot a scam,
especially about something unknown like jobs supposedly available overseas. You
will see advertisements in prestigious newspapers and magazine, which make
legitimate sounding claims of excitement and excellent salaries. The ads sound
like others you might find in your local employment classifieds. But there are
telltale signs that may indicate a scam.
1. They ask for money up front.
2. They use post office boxes, instead of office addresses.
3. They make promises of employment and guarantees of refunds.
4. They charge fees for giving you a job lead.
According to the Better Business Bureau and the
Federal Trade Commission, you can protect yourself against overseas employment
scams by using common sense, and following a few basic rules.
1. You should ask for references.
2. Check them out in the state they list as an address.
3. Get everything in writing.
4. Forget about companies with no legitimate street address.
5. Be very skeptical of overseas employment opportunities that sound "too good
to be true."
6. Never send cash in the mail, and be extremely cautious with firms that
require a money order. This could indicate that the firm is attempting to avoid
a traceable record of its transactions.
7. Do not be fooled by official-sounding names. Many scam artists operate under
names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.
8. Avoid working with firms that require payment in advance.
9. Do not give your credit card or bank account number to telephone solicitors.
10. Read the contract very carefully. Have an attorney look over any documents
you are asked to sign.
11. Beware of an agency that is unwilling to give you a written contract.
12. Do not hesitate to ask questions. You have a right to know what services to
expect and the costs involved.
13. Do not make a hasty decision. Instead, take time to weigh all the pros and
cons of the situation. Be wary of demands that "you must act now."
14. Keep a copy of all agreements you sign, as well as copies of checks you
forward to the company.
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