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Avoiding Scams in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)

Employment scams, also known as job scams, are a form of advance fee fraud scamming where certain unscrupulous persons posing as recruiters or employers offer attractive employment opportunities which require the job seeker to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses. Sometimes a bogus recruitment agency is said to be handling the process on behalf of the prospective employer to make it seem authentic.

Large and small company identities are used by the fraudsters to make jobs look exciting and legitimate. It's advisable to be wary of any job offerings which arrive in e-mail unsolicited or from a website where you have supposedly posted your CV. Unsolicited applications do not succeed but are preyed upon by the unscrupulous.

To execute the scam a website has usually been set up, but most of the content has been copied from a legitimate company. A website is probably part of a scam if:

1. When you copy a significant sentence and do an internet search you find it repeated in other websites

2. Jobs are not hyperlinked to a description or application process - they are hardwired into the site and continuously available

3. A search on the name reveals lots of hits for a company with a very similar name, but only one or two for the scam company

4. The phone number sequence is not associated with the location of the company

5. When moving around the website from the home page the destination pages have not been constructed

The scammers will go through the recruitment processes very loosely. You may have one short interview or perhaps two. They will be quite superficial and the company will reach a decision immediately or the next day and send you a contract of employment. It may offer you accommodation as part of its terms.

In Malaysia, only employers can apply to Immigration for an Employment Pass (work permit) and a bona fide company would absorb the costs itself. It's not advisable to "buy" a valid Employment Pass yourself from an agent. Once you have a job the employer will submit your passport to Immigration because permission to work is associated directly to the company employing you.

It's good to be cautious. Carry out some simple tests or ask others to help you verify the company, the vacancy or the identity of the person handling the process. Receiving correspondence from an anonymous email address (e.g. hr@ ) may make you suspicious.

Keep safe!