Don’t be victim of job scams
Unemployment is a nightmare at the moment because of COVID but like most disasters that happen including the recent Grenfell Tower disaster scammers come out of the woodwork. Most people now days when they are looking for a job are going online to look for employment, but as more and more people use the internet to search for job opportunities this has also opened the door to fraudsters. Scammers often recruit for a ‘dream job’ advertising roles which pay really high salaries that require few qualification, skills, or experience. If it sounds too good to be true, unfortunately that is because it most probably is. Here are some job scamming warning signs to look out for:
The scammer poses as a ‘recruitment specialist’ who claims they will be able to get you a job but only if you allow them to put together on your behalf a ‘package’ to present to potential employers. For a fee, usually several hundred pounds, they will write your CV, carry out security and police checks, conduct reference checks and charge you for training course that don’t exist. Never ever pay anyone to get you a job, it’s illegal for anyone acting as an Agency to charge job seekers a fee of any kind.
Premium Rate Phone Scams
Any telephone number which starts with a 09 should be avoided. No reputable recruitment company or employer would advertise jobs asking candidates to call a premium-rate phone number. As a potential candidate you are asked to call a number, you assume 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 happening. In some cases, job seekers are being duped into going through a fake interview on the phone which could last for up to an hour at a cost of hundreds of pounds.
Watch out for work-from-home jobs which are often scams. A fraudster will employ you to work from home. You assume that you’re employed in a genuine job, but actually what you’re really being used to do is launder money. You will be asked to buy office equipment to something similar and ship it to a specific address. Or possible you will be asked to cash a cheque on behalf of your employer and give them the cash. You may not realise you are actually committing a crime but when you are buying stuff on behalf of a third party or cashing their cheques what you are actually doing is acting as a conduit for a money launderer.
Salary Payment Scams
You’ve had an online interview and you have been offered the job. As part of the job offer the potential employer needs some personal information from you. The first question may concern references, who they should apply to and who would be the best person to speak to at the Company. The next question may be for your bank account details as they want to set you up on the payroll system. This information will be used to steal money from your account, the first question was a smoke screen to lead them to getting the information they really need.
Stealing Information from your CV
Whilst you want to sell yourself and impress future employers providing too much personal information could leave you vulnerable to scams. Too much information could lead to identity theft, where fraudsters obtain your details steal your identity, spend your money, take out loans in your name or buy goods in your name. When applying for a job you should never provide your date of birth, your full address, your passport number, your marital status and number of children, credit card or bank account numbers, weight and height, hair and eye colour or a headshot picture.
You asked to pay for something.
A legitimate employer won’t ask you for money for anything. If you are told you have to pay for anything, particularly training, in order that you will be seriously be considered for the role, do not do it. Another scam is where you are asked to pay up front for stock or as a guarantee against office equipment you are going to be provided with, do not go there, you are being ripped off. Your money will be taken but there is not a job available believe me.
Job Scamming Warning Signs
- The job sounds to be good to be true.
- You didn’t contact the employer they contacted you.
- The job requirements and job description are very vague
- The employers email address is @yahoo or @hotmail etc
- Documents sent to you contain poor spelling and grammar
- The company do not have a website or are listed at Companies House
- Online interviews are contacted via a messaging service
- Emails don’t include the employers name , address and phone number
- You try to research the employer prior to an interview and don’t find anything
- You are asked to provide confidential information
- You are asked to send money or use your personal bank account
- The employer wants you to pay for something
- You are asked to provide too much personal information
- You ‘gut’ tells you something is not right
Its horrendous that there are such terrible people out there but unfortunately there are. What is one person’s misfortune is another persons pot of gold if they have a criminal mind. Just as there are gangs of people operating online dating scams nowadays there are sophisticated fraudsters devising ways of benefitting from your employment despair. Be careful and be safe.