More than two thirds of us are now going online to look for employment, according to Safer Jobs – an organisation set up by the Metropolitan Police to help combat employment fraud.
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.
Looking for a new job can be both 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 by Safer Jobs, 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 only to find that the employer has never heard of them.
Premium-rate phone scams
While you will want to sell yourself and impress future employers/recruiters, providing too much personal information could leave you vulnerable to scams.
Too much personal information could lead to identity theft, where fraudsters can obtain your details, steal your identity and spend your money, take out loans or buy goods in your name.
Remember your CV should be a summary of why you’re the best candidate for that job. In most cases you should not be asked to include:
Alarmingly, almost three quarters of job hunters admit they wouldn’t recognise the signs of a job scam.
According to Action Fraud, job seekers aged between 18 and 24 are the most likely to be targeted by job scams, losing around £4,000 on average.
If you think you’ve been scammed, you must stop all communication with the scammers immediately.
If you can, take a note of their details and report them to Action Fraud.
If you’ve given them any money or shared your bank account details with them, contact your bank immediately.
You should also report the attempted scam to any website where you’ve listed your CV.
Follow our five steps to protect yourself from employment fraud: