How To Spot Fake Overseas Job Recruitment Agencies

How To Spot Fake Overseas Job Recruitment Agencies

Everyone desires a better life, irrespective of color, race, or nationality. If you are reading this article, you are most likely looking to earn a living from working overseas. Our career resources page has helpful articles that highlight the relevance of recruitment agencies as well as trusted recruitment agencies in different regions of the world and professions. The focus of this article, however, is to show you how to spot fake overseas job recruitment agencies.

As migration rates continue to increase, people’s quest for better career opportunities and standard of living overseas has also created an opportunity for scammers. With limited jobs available to cater to a rapidly increasing unemployed populace, many job seekers have fallen prey to the activities of the scammers. A lot of them pose as overseas recruitment agencies to defraud unsuspecting applicants.

For starters, be sure to carry out a background check on any recruitment agency before engaging them. Limit your search to trusted websites and be sure to verify every information you see online before taking action. Don’t be impatient and naïve, better safe than sorry.

How to Identify a Genuine Recruitment Agency

1. A Good Recruitment Agency will be Honest

Their goal is to build credibility for their brand. To achieve this they strive to maintain honest dealings with all clients and prospects. They keep communication lines open and wouldn’t see a need to hide any information from you. A genuine recruitment agency understands that commitment works both ways. 

2. A Good Recruitment Agency Leverages its Experience to Help Clients

You can tell that an agency is genuine from the feedback you get from them. If the agency doesn’t know the process involved in getting a job overseas with regards to your preferred country/region and profession, they are not to be trusted. A genuine agency will help you clarify ‘grey areas’ while saying no to ‘black deals’.

3. A Good Recruitment Agency Prepares you

A genuine recruitment agency understands that a little fillip is all it takes to propel some applicants into excellence. Hence, a genuine agency aids their prospects by giving out materials that will put an applicant in a more comfortable position to get the job they desire. From professional CV writing to cover letter writing, personal statement writing down to interview preparation tips; a genuine recruitment agency ensures that its candidates are ready.

There are more ways to identify a genuine recruitment agency, but the key is to pay attention to details, processes then verify before you deal. That said, here’s a general overview of a fake overseas recruitment agency.

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Overview of How to Spot Fake Overseas Job Recruitment Agencies

Firstly, assume that every overseas recruiter who contacts you is a scam artist because they probably are. This is especially true if you see an ad on some blog, forum, or bulletin board, offering an overseas job with unbelievable terms and benefits.

If they are offering all sorts of perks like free or massively discounted flight tickets and hotel accommodation for an entry-level or mid-level job, don’t deny the red flag.

Next, if the wages being offered are way higher than what you know the prevailing wage for the job role to be, you can mark it up as a scam. And if you have to pay a fee to be considered for a job, that is a red flag to be wary of.

Furthermore, if the job description or the location of the employer is hazy or missing, it’s a scam. Example: “Immediate need for a nanny on wealthy homeowner’s estate. Weekly remuneration with benefits. Free accommodation available. No experience required”.

If you find it difficult to get references to the overseas job recruiter on the internet, it’s possibly a scam. Remember that recruitment agencies are simply agencies that assist companies to get eligible workers, and also aid job seekers to land viable and productive jobs.

How To Spot Fake Overseas Job Recruitment Agencies

The following points will help you identify fake overseas recruitment agencies with ease.

1. Check the Email

Emails from a recruitment agency whose email address ends in a generic domain such as Google, Yahoo, Outlook, and others should be avoided. A legitimate overseas recruitment agency should have its ‘own’ domain and as a result, have customized email addresses. For example,

2. Check the Address

Any organization that uses a P.O. box or other mailing address system in place of a permanent physical address should immediately raise a red flag. Scammers usually work remotely to enable them to stay away from the eyes of the public. As a result, they’d rather provide an address that cannot be tracked to a physical location. However, this doesn’t mean you should trust every agency that has a traceable physical address.

3. Unbelievably Easy Requirements

Should you receive an email from a random recruitment agency for a job overseas that you never showed interest in. The type that has little or no requirements for getting in, you need to be cautious. Hospitality job scams are popular for this method; where an applicant is offered a job with few interview questions asked but is required to pay for visa fees upfront.

Any job that doesn’t require an interview, but insists on copies of personal information, financial information and upfront payment is most likely fake.

4. Check the Website Protocol

Websites URLs that use “http” or a simple “www” are not secured and should be visited with great caution. Never provide your personal information or carry out financial transactions on such websites. “Https” is the legitimate and secure option. The former stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, while the latter stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.

5. Ask for References

Before proceeding, seek out and read up available reviews by those who have worked for or with the recruitment agency in question. Additionally, ask the agency representative or contact center for names of successful applicants who have utilized their services. Scam artists will typically use breach of privacy as an excuse to avoid the question while genuine agencies would be excited to share testimonials, as they authenticate their claims.

6. Always Interview

No genuine overseas recruitment agency would hire a candidate to represent their agency without first conducting interviews to qualify such a candidate. A legitimate recruitment agency will let you in on their vision statement, mission, and the values that guide their operations as an agency. Watch out for instant-hire offers or act-fast ploys. Insist on talking to a human, don’t complete a hiring process via email interactions only.

7. Avoid Upfront Payments

Never pay any type of initial fee to a recruitment agency for a job role. Recruitment agencies that require upfront fees and offer ambiguous promises to job applicants are generally out to take advantage of people. Once they receive such upfront payment, they would typically cut communication with the applicant.

8. Use Common Sense

Be suspicious of agencies that require too much personal information too quickly. Quick deals are always shady. Insist on a written contract, if the agency is not offering one and watch for spelling and grammar errors. Watch out for vague and sketchy job descriptions; and read contracts thoroughly. 

If it seems too good to be true, it is probably not true. Ask questions, a lot of questions until you get satisfactory answers. Don’t appear too desperate. Pay attention to red flags.

9. Cross-check Scammer Databases

If you notice any red flags, cross-check the recruitment agency in question with scammer databases online. If someone has fallen victim to an agency’s scam before, they probably posted it online. There are articles online that list identified fake overseas job recruitment agencies, check them out.


While there are incredible opportunities available to those who are looking to land overseas jobs, nothing worth having comes easy. As a job seeker, quit looking for easy cuts, be patient and go about your job search the right way.

Do your research, assess offers from recruitment agencies critically, and don’t overlook any detail. Understand how things work, so you won’t fall into the trap of bogus promises, upfront payment requests, and other scams carried out by fake overseas job recruitment agencies. 

Visit our resources page for more helpful articles. Good luck! We are routing for you.

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