China scams. We all know them. A crooked company always offers high salary and good conditions to tempt you in. There are a number of employment scams out there, which can be far more damaging than getting forced into buying a rip-off painting from an “art student” outside the Forbidden City. When you have high expectations to go for an interview and believe you can get the position, but finally it’s a scam. How disappointed you are. Use the seven tips below and you’ll never fall victim to a job scam in China.

1) Research company information on line 

When you get invitation from a company, a simple Google (or Baidu) search on a company’s name should bring up plenty of information. Then you can compare the information and see whether it is legal or not. If it’s an English school you’re applying for, ask around your friends and roommates to see if they know anyone who works there. Get as much detail as you can about complaints. 

2) Simple professionalism

If the company’s website doesn’t look quite right, or if they don’t have one at all, alarm bells should start to ring. Do they have permanent premises? Are their email addresses official company ones, or Hotmail? Any business worth its salt should at least have company email addresses. Make sure you meet your potential employer face to face, and visit their office. If it’s a room in a residential apartment somewhere, it probably isn’t legit.

3) If it looks like a con, it probably is one

Don’t be conned into believing that you deserve a massive salary for zero work. No offense, but if you’re not an experienced CEO, you’re not going to get the pay check and bonuses of a CEO. Many people are tricked into accepting jobs with guarantees of six figure sums and flashy business trips when they don’t even have a Bachelor’s degree. If you’re suspicious, shop around for average salaries offered by established English schools for your level, then compare and contrast. If they’re offering you 20,000 RMB a month while English First offers 13,000 for the same position, something isn’t right.

4) Don’t be a fool and wire money.

If a company asks you for money to find a job in China this should be a red flag. All responsible recruiters and real companies do not require any fee’s to find you a job. Don’t be a fool. Don’t wire money to anyone you haven’t met face to face, and completely trust. The some goes for your passport and any other payments. Some unscrupulous companies want you to pay them for training manual and they may tell you that anyone who want to work in the company must pay first, in order to reserving the position for you. At that time, remember Look before you leap  

5) Be sure your contract is legal 

Finding a lawyer to check your contract sound like ridiculous and complicated, but it could help you a lot and make sure you work in a legitimate company, and the contract can protect you when you’re in trouble. If the potential employer isn’t happy about you doing this, that’s a good sign that they shouldn’t be trusted anyway.

6) Don’t be pressured to sign a contract

A crooked company bent on scamming you may pressure you to sign a contract after the interview. Don’t do it. Even though, you’re very eager to find a job. Legitimate companies will give you some time to think about their offer; dodgy ones won’t want to give you a chance to see their flaws. If you find out any unclear item, just asked and be sure you understand all of them 

7) Devious recruiters

Some recruiters don’t actually have any contacts with companies; they simply send emails out to their database and hope that someone bites, charging you commission in the process. The more you know, the more you can go solo, without the help of an agent or recruiter. So what can you do if you’ve already fallen for a scam? It depends on the nature of the ruse. If you’ve signed a contract, you’ll need to use a lawyer to get you out of it, and you could end up paying severance costs. If you’ve wired money, it’s very possible that you’ll never see it again. If you’re not sure we recommend using the reliable recruitment agency: Find Work Abroad – They are free to use and we frequently have excellent reviews from them.


Remember – forewarned is forearmed. Use these seven tips, and a degree of common sense, and you’ll avoid falling for job scams in China.



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