Once again there is an article in the news warning that jobseekers are vulnerable to scams.
We see graduates every year who get suspicious but there may be many more who unwittingly get scammed. International graduates can be especially vulnerable as they are often unfamiliar with UK recruitment practices and don’t always realise that they have been taken advantage of until it is too late. Some can be conned out of money, or not be paid for work they have done. Some can be the victim of identity theft. Some can even be tricked into criminal activities.
Don’t let it happen to you! Familiarise yourself with some of the common types of scams so that you know what to look out for.
When you are desperately looking for a job it is natural to upload your CV to lots of different websites and to apply to opportunities from many different sources.
- Scammers trawl CV posting sites looking for likely targets – be wary of unsolicited emails offering work.
If you want to upload a CV online, never include personal information that can be used for identity theft (address, date of birth etc). Consider using a special webmail account just for the CV, so that you will know that any email received at that account is in reply to your online CV.
- Scammers post advertisements all over the web – be especially careful about applying for jobs on websites where information is not vetted (e.g. Gumtree).
How can you tell if an opportunity is genuine or not? These tips come from the ‘Spotting scam jobs’ section of the Careers Service website.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- If a company asks you to ring a premium rate number as the only way to apply, be very wary.
- Be suspicious if directed to different numbers, websites or a different company name than the one in the advert you responded to. This may be done to hide a bad reputation or a scam.
- Avoid schemes where you make money by signing up new members to sell for you.
- Make sure you ask questions about the job if you are unsure.
- Do not be pressurised to sign up to anything you do not fully understand.
- Do not part with any money unless you understand exactly what you are getting.
- When you first apply do not provide bank or financial information, passport or similar identification. These might be required later, but only if you get the job.
If in doubt:
- Do not apply for the job
- Do not agree to sign anything
- Do not pay for any services on offer
- Do not return any contact with the organisation
- Ask the Careers Service for a second opinion
If you think you might have been the victim of a scam report it so that the police and/or the Office of Fair Trading can try to prevent it happening to other people. You will also be able to get advice on recovering money you might have lost. See our page on getting advice about scams.