With numerous overseas workers arriving each year, the UAE is considered as “a land of great opportunity” by many. People from all over the world come to pursue their career and business dreams in the emirates, mainly in Dubai as well as in the capital, Abu Dhabi.
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Indeed, it cannot be denied that the UAE is among the world’s top destinations for expats. At the same time, however, scrupulous individuals have been using the country’s popularity to lure unsuspecting job-seekers, taking advantage of them and scamming them for money.
How to Spot a Fake Job Offer in the UAE
You may have heard of cases where an applicant is duped into accepting a lucrative “job offer,” paying a lot of money for a visa and work permit — only to find that neither the job nor the company actually exists! He or she ends up stranded in a foreign country, desperate for any jobs that might be available, and vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking.
To avoid falling prey to such scams, here are some signs that every job applicant should watch out for. Beware of these signs every time you receive an email or message.
1. Unsolicited emails or invitations.
You receive an invitation via email, and the job offer looks really good. But wait! You can’t seem to remember applying for the job. In fact, this is the first time you’ve ever heard of this job and this company! An unsolicited email is usually the first “red flag.”
2. Suspicious links and attachments.
As you read the email, you are directed to a link or website for “registration,” where you are asked to enter your name, address, phone number, and other personal details The URL looks quite suspicious, though, and the domain name doesn’t look legit. Mmm…
3. No official address stated.
Now, where is the company located here in the UAE? The email does not seem to contain any official address. The website given does not include anything, either. This invitation is becoming more and more suspicious by the second!
4. Only a mobile number is given.
Oh look, there’s a mobile number included in the message. Perhaps I should give them a call? But wait, aren’t legit companies supposed to have enlisted landlines, instead of just mobile numbers?
5. Grammar and spelling errors.
This email has too many grammar mistakes. It doesn’t sound professional at all! Aren’t companies supposed to edit their messages and announcements? Come to think of it, the website has a lot of spelling and punctuation errors, too!
6. Sounds too good to be true.
A high salary, attractive benefits package, first-class flight tickets, good accommodations… wow, this job is perfect! But wait, the salary seems extremely high compared to the same kind of job for other companies. This job offer sounds too good to be true!
7. No personal interview required.
It says here that I only need to undergo a phone or “chat” interview as part of the hiring process. There’s no need to go to their office for a face-to-face interview, and they’re not asking for an online interview over Skype or Zoom, either. This is really convenient because I don’t have to go out, but then again, it seems mighty suspicious, too!
8. Asking for money.
According to the message, I need to send money so that my visa and working permit could be processed. But wait, isn’t this illegal? I wonder what the UAE Labour Law has to say about this?
As you can see, all of these red flags — incomplete details, questionable writing, out-of-this world offers, and solicitation for money — point toward a suspicious group or individual, and not a legitimate employer!
3 Basic Tips for Avoiding Job Scams
Now that you have a better idea of the signs that indicate fake job offers or scams, how can you avoid them? Here are some suggestions:
1. Do your research.
Are you wondering if the company is legit? Simply go online and make a search! Find out if there’s an official address, and if there is, try to locate it on Google Maps. See if they have a website that looks professionally done, with complete information, reviews, and contact information.
So you checked and there seems to be an office, a website, and a telephone number. But are they credible? If it’s a clinic or hospital, it should be duly registered with the Ministry of Health. If it’s a private company, it should be recognized by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and other entities in the UAE.
2. Be extra cautious.
Be wary of unsolicited emails and invitations. If the email address is not familiar, and if you don’t remember applying for that particular job, then most likely it’s a scam! Do not reply, do not click on any of their links, and definitely do not enter your personal details. Remember that a legitimate company or recruitment agency would never ask for such information.
What should you do with the email? Mark it immediately as SPAM, or delete it from your inbox completely. In addition, make sure that your computer’s anti-virus software is always turned on, so that you can be alerted about any suspicious “attacks” and your information would always be protected!
3. Use your common sense.
Oftentimes, all it takes is gut intuition and common sense to avoid falling prey to job scams. If the message looks suspicious, it most likely is. If there is no official address or landline number given, it could be a fake. If they are asking you to pay any fees… stop communicating with them at once!
By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid becoming a victim of job scams and other unscrupulous activities. The key is to always be careful and vigilant, and to protect your personal information. And remember, if a job offer sounds too perfect, then most likely it isn’t true at all!
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