How to avoid job scams

In this article we provide 5 tips to help you avoid being the victim of scams related to searching for employment.

1. Requests for money

This is the main reason for the existence of most scams. The scammers want to trick you into sending them money. A legitimate employer or recruiter will never ask you to send them money for any part of the recruitment process. If you are asked to make a payment then DO NOT proceed.

2. Always be vigilant

Be open to the possibility that people may not be who they say they are. If you are open to this possibility then you will be in a better position to identify potential scams.

3. Learn how to identify scams

Job scams are increasingly convincing but there are often traits that can help you to identify them as a scam. These include:

  • Receiving unsolicited email/call/text/message with a job offer or business opportunity
  • The “salary” for the role is higher than expected or the returns offered seem too good to be true
  • You are asked to make payment(s) in order to complete an test/application/background check OR you are asked to urgently provide cash/information/payment (this reduces the time you have to consider whether it might be a scam and is a common trick)
  • The “employer” uses different email addresses/contact methods to those listed in the job advert
  • The job advert contains poor English, spelling mistakes or other errors

4. Try and verify job listings

It is a good idea to do some background checks prior to making a job application. These checks could include:

  • Checking with friends or family who work for the employer and may be able to verify the job opening
  • Checking the internet to see whether this could be a potential scam
  • Checking with the potential employer to verify the job opening. Scammers may list genuine contact details – it may be that only the email address or telephone number are not genuine. A simple check with the employer may help to uncover a scam.

5. Report suspicious job adverts

If you believe that a job advert is a scam always ensure that you report this to the advertiser and to the relevant authorities. This will enable them to (1) take action to remove the job advert (2) investigate the scam and (3) prevent other people from becoming victims.

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