Recently I was contacted by a company for a remote job offer for a Russian company (I am in India). I accepted that and I had a face-to-face meeting with one person from their team.

He asked for my Github account. He just asked about basics of a programming language and we had some related discussions about tech and frameworks, nothing tough.

I was offered position to join that company and received an offer letter (as a one page Word document) which asks me to provide my passport ID.

I have searched online they didn't ask about any money if it was scam. However I am not able to decide if it's a legitimate offer as this company doesn't have much info online. During the Skype interview HR told me that it's a group on 11 people or so working remotely.

Following things I noticed:

  • They have their own email domain (which is good but not hard to buy up business email for scammers)

Question: What are the things that I should look out for (red flags)?

NOTE: This is my first application for a remote job

  • 1
    Did you ask how they are going to pay your salary? – scaaahu Apr 13 '18 at 15:08
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    @Ashishkumar "it was in one of the costliest 5 star hotels in India"- Anyone can have a casual meeting in the lobby of a fancy hotel and pretend that's where they're staying. – David K Apr 13 '18 at 15:08
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    I think it's insufficient to conclude that it's scam. My guess for the passport ID is that he needs to be able to report to the company that who will do the job and to whom the company will pay the salary. He cannot just say the person's name is Ashish Kumar. The boss would ask who is Ashish Kumar. With your passport ID, he can then say it's the Ashish Kumar with this passport ID. – scaaahu Apr 13 '18 at 15:21
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    Why is asking for passport number a "red flag"? For remote jobs, it is even necessary. What other ID proof could the company ask for, which they can expect foreign candidates from (almost?) every country to possess? – Masked Man Apr 13 '18 at 15:40
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    This has signs of a scam, but you can't conclude such without more information. The fact they sought you out is a red flag to me, where you looking for a remote position?, where did they get your information? Why are the interested in hiring someone outside their country, and just happened to find you? If anything, they aren't trying to cheat you out of money, but cheat you out of work, and then decide not to pay you. Realize that across countries, you have very little legal recourse if things go bad between you. – Jay Apr 13 '18 at 15:54

Put some research in.

Google up the company name and see what's out there.

Additionally you should perform a search on the governmental russian business registry (link) to see if the company is registered and has a VAT number/tax registration number in Russia.

Look at the salary details - is it a proper salaried job, or is it commission or piece work. Are they asking you to pay for "admin" or "arrangement" costs prior to you being employed?

Question why they need your passport number.

Do you have any colleagues who have gone through the same situation - what were their experiences?

Is the extra money worth the uncertainty?

Ask for references, what established companies have they worked for? Contact them and ask whether your prospective employer is trustworthy.

Further reading

  • There is nothing about the company on google other than their linked in profiles.which includes its employee details and those employee have stackoverflow accounts(some of them have high reputations like 2000 and up) i found after research i can confirm – AshishRay94 Apr 13 '18 at 15:21
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    2,000 isn't a high reputation. I have over 30,000 rep here and I'm an idiot. – user44108 Apr 13 '18 at 15:23
  • also i do not have any colleagues who have gone through similar situation. – AshishRay94 Apr 13 '18 at 15:24
  • one important point to mention that the HR has a broken english ( even worst than mine) – AshishRay94 Apr 13 '18 at 15:27
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    @Ashishkumar Why does it matter that they speak broken English? The company is located in Russia and you are in India. There shouldn't really be an expectation that they speak English - it just happens to be the language you both can communicate in. – David K Apr 13 '18 at 17:47

In the comment you said the following:

it was in one of the costliest 5 star hotels in India.

As to how you met the individual. If it were me, I would follow up if he actually had a room there or not. What I would have done is called the hotel and tell them if they can leave a message for guest [insert name]. If they say no such person is booked at the hotel, then you can get suspicious.

What are the things that I should look out for (red flags)?

Go with your guts. If something sounds off or doesn't sound right, don't do it. If they start to ask for money or information of something, then simply don't do it and walk away.

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