Facebook job scams: How it works and how you can protect yourself
Job scams are common and becoming a lot more sophisticated according to Africa Check researcher Cayley Clifford.
Unfortunately scammers often use Facebook to exploit job seekers with pages advertising work.
Clifford collaborated with Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab research associate Jean le Roux to investigate how scammers go about this and make money.
The pair focused on one of the Facebook pages called 'Job Opportunities' for their research.
Clifford says the page typically advertises jobs at local grocery stores, construction companies and government agencies. Most of the posts will request that you comment below to express your interest and share the post in order to be considered.
We spoke to job seekers. One, for example in Port Elizabeth, who did exactly that ... he shared the post and that was the last he heard of it and his story is literally the story of hundreds of people commenting on these posts daily.Cayley Clifford, Africa Check - Researcher
Le Roux explains how the network operates and makes money when hopefuls engage with the posts.
What this does is it actually games the Facebook algorithm that makes the post seem more popular. So, the post will appear in more people's news feeds, it will be ranked higher if people search for it so it creates this artificial management around the post.Jean le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
The second part of this is as soon as you click on the link they use a thing called a link aggregate so this allows them to have multiple Facebook posts up, all of them using the exact same link and then on this landing page it would have links to the actual website where the adverts were being hosted.Jean le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
The moment that you click through to the actual site, that site is littered with ads, the ads themselves are quite misleading and that is also where these guys make their money.Jean le Roux, Research associate - Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
How do you spot false job adverts on Facebook? Clifford says the first thing you should do is take the time to interrogate the advert itself.
Look for any inconsistencies - any spelling or grammar mistakes are immediately a red flag. If you are asked to share the post that is also very suspicious.Cayley Clifford, Researcher - Africa Check
You want to be very cautious of links that don't take you to either the website of the company that is supposedly advertising the job or to a credible and known job portal. Lastly, you want to be very wary of any requests for money.Cayley Clifford, Researcher - Africa Check
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