There’s no denying that scammers and conmen are clever people. It always seems that the fraudsters are one step ahead of the authorities, and as soon as one loophole is closed they move on to their next scam. At a time where the economy is struggling through Brexit and a general downturn, and many more people are looking for jobs, there are a huge number of fraudsters preying on job applicants to try to con them out of money. Here are some of the most common scams, and how to avoid them.
If It Appears Too Easy, It’s Probably A Scam
Scammers know that job hunters have probably made dozens of unsuccessful applications. However, those knock-backs should give you a good indication of what the standard job application involves. So, when an email drops into your inbox offering you an amazing job, without an interview, further discussion with the employer or questions about your qualifications and experience, the alarm bells should start ringing.
A genuine job offer will be no strings attached. You won’t be asked to pay upfront for your training, shell out for manuals or a credit report. Too often excited candidates send money to the “employer” to find that the job offer promptly disappears. Never pay any money unless you are totally sure that the company is genuine; do some searching on Google and read through a couple of pages on results. Scams also exist surrounding DBS checking. Although it’s sometimes the case that employers will expect workers to pay for their own DBS, this will be mentioned at interview stage and money will only be asked for once the job offer has been made. Also make sure that the role you are being interviewed for is one which requires DBS checking in the first place.
One of the most common scams for people applying for jobs online is the cheque cashing or bank deposit fraud. People are contacted offering them a job receiving payments into their bank accounts, they then take their commission and forward the money on, usually to a Western Union account. It’s only a few days later that the victim discovers that the payment into their account has been reversed, and they are extremely out of pocket. Never get involved in these sorts of schemes, however desperate you are for work.
Bait and Switch Scam
Although not as illegal and as much of a downright con as other scams, the “bait and switch” scam is another common scam. Applicants are tempted in to contacting a company with offers of a great job, amazing salary and interesting work. Once they are at the stage of being made a job offer, they are told that the amazing job has gone, and instead are offered a poorly paid job with irregular hours which would have been difficult to fill. This is a technique most often associated with recruitment agencies, and searching the company’s name in Google with “scam” or “con” should tell you if they’ve been caught doing this in the past.