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12/05/2021

Which? offers top tips on avoiding job scams

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Part I Job scams and employment fraud?

According to Safer Jobs, more than two-thirds of us are now going online to look for employment. But as more and more of us use the internet to search for new job opportunities, this has also opened the door to fraudsters.

Fraudsters often recruit for a ‘dream job’, advertising roles with a starting salary of around £100,000 that require few qualifications, skills or experience. 

Sound too good to be true? Unfortunately, that’s because it most probably is.

Job scams prey on hope

Looking for a new job can be stressful and exciting, with individuals eager to believe the perfect job is out there for them –  even if it sounds unlikely or unrealistic. 

According to a survey carried out, 98% of respondents said that even if they were suspicious of a job advert, they would continue with an application despite feeling the job may not be legitimate.

This could be due to people feeling overly hopeful or optimistic that despite suspicions, the job may still be real. 

When you’re focussed on getting a new job, the desire to believe that something is legitimate is very strong, which is what the fraudsters rely on. 

Some people have even turned up to the workplace ready to start their new job to find that the employer has never heard of them.

What does a job scam look like?

Advance-fee scams

  • you’re asked for money by fraudsters to write your CV or carry out security and police checks
  • you’re asked to pay for expensive training programmes which don’t exist
  • for overseas jobs, fraudsters require you to pay for immigration lawyers
  • again for overseas jobs, fraudsters ask you to pay for travel-agent fees.

Premium-rate phone scams

  • As the potential candidate, you call a number assuming you’re going to have an initial phone interview, but you’re kept on hold for a long period of time before you realise what’s happened.
  • In some cases, job seekers will be duped into going through a fake interview on the phone, which could last up to an hour at the cost of hundreds of pounds.

Money laundering

  • Fraudsters employ you on a work-from-home basis. You assume that you’re employed in a genuine job, but you’re really being used to launder money
  • you’re asked to buy office equipment and ship it to a specific address or cash a cheque, not knowing you’re actually committing a crime in the process.

Salary-payment scam

  • Fraudsters may also ask for your bank account details to set up salary payments. They will use these details to steal money from your account.

Source: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/job-scams-aFQaP4P9btJv

Source: https://www.safer-jobs.com/

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