Before providing vital elements that will help you identify a scam quickly, I would like to say that ARIANA PHARM or ARIANA PHARMACEUTICALS is a SCAM. This organization logged into Upwork created an account saying they were looking to hire a Human Resources Manager. They conducted interviews through Google Hangouts, and sent offer letters.
There is little information out there about them being scammers, and they will probably change their business name. However, here are some tips for identifying a scam quickly.
GIVE THEM A CALL
Calling them is a quick and straightforward way to verifying the business. Find out their business phone number and give them a call. If someone answers, please ask them if the Hiring Manager Fiona McAllister (in ARIANA PHARM's case) works there. However, you will find that when the business is a scam, the call will go directly to voicemail. When requesting a video conference if the company rejects your request, there is something wrong. Usually, scammers want to conduct all communication through email or messaging using the images, names, and photographs of other businesses and organizations.
Check their website content and information. I am going to use Ariana Pharm as an example. Their website seems legit. They even went as far as creating a blog which publishes content once a month, or once every 4 to 5 months. Their headquarters or home office is in Paris, France. They say they are also located in Cambridge, MA, Tokyo, Japan, Osaka, Japan. They only have phone numbers for two locations. When reading more of their content, you begin to identify contradicting information.
Here is an example: this is part of their offer of employment letter. They have Mr. Daniel Bernier as the Chief Executive Officer signing the document. However, their Chief Executive Officer on their website is Dr. Mohammmad Afshar.
The interview process of the company will give them away as well. This company quickly removed their Upwork profile and decided to interview outside of the Upwork platform. Questions and answers were completed all through Google Hangouts, and there was no video conference. The profile picture of the Hiring Manager was distant and out of focus. They quickly switched tone when a video conference call was requested. The same questions were continuously repeated. They kept asking for one's location, phone number, email address, and payroll desired method. However, in a regular interview process, these questions are not requested during this stage. The interviewer might briefly ask where are you located; however, the conversation switches to questions that will identify the applicant as the right fit for the position.
Today, you hear recruiters and HR professionals saying, "Research the company before having an interview." This remains even more true for remote job positions. If there is any information that does not add up or any red flags, investigate further. Present questions during the interview, call previous clients, sponsors, and talk to other people within their HR department. Scammers usually place much pressure to get information quick and fast from their victims. If you see unreasonable demand or continuous requests for the same information, something is off.
WORDS ARE DEEDS
The wording is another useful tool for identifying a scam's tactics. The text within their employment letter contradicts. The job offer sounds too good to be true. The Labor Laws mentioned in the letter are incorrect. The grammar and terminology used for their emails, official documents, website, and interviews were unprofessional, aggressive, and demanding. The job positions they requested employment for did not align with their job postings online nor third-part websites.
Today, as more jobs go remote, and more people work from home. All of us need to be well-informed and quick to identify and avoid scams. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this, please contact us.