Recent research by Disclosure Scotland – the organisation which provides disclosure checks north of the border – has revealed that during the pandemic, 74% of jobseekers have been scammed into applying for jobs which are not genuine. Forbes magazine goes further, claiming that for every genuine job vacancy there are as many as 60 scam postings. How do you avoid becoming one of the scam victims?
Fraudsters are smart, and as soon as one scam is uncovered, they are already onto the next scam. But there are several signs which you can look out for, and which might give you a clue that the dream job you’ve found online isn’t all that it seems to be.
Too Much Information
If you’ve applied for lots of jobs, you’ll be aware of the sort of information which you are usually asked for in an application. Name, address, email, and National Insurance number are all fairly standard. But if you come across a form asking you to enter your bank details or mother’s maiden name then alarm bells should start ringing. Are you really applying for a job, or helping an identity thief?
Fees and Payments
Scammers know that most job seekers won’t fall for something as simple as asking for money to make the application. Many job postings will instead talk about an administration fee or a processing fee. Steer well clear of these sorts of offers – chances are there’s no job, and you won’t get your money back either. Another tactic is to ask you to pay for a DBS check. In some cases, this is plausible; genuine employers can and sometimes do ask employees to pay for their own disclosure checks. If you are asked to pay, do a lot of research into the organisation, making sure you are sure they are genuine before making the payment.
A classic sign of a con is a job posting with lots of text, but which doesn’t actually tell you what hours you’ll be doing, what your responsibilities are, or the name of the company which is recruiting. Many of these scams involve posting similar adverts elsewhere on the internet, trying to hook more people into replying to the same scam as hooked you in.
If you’ve been in the job market for a while, you should have a rough idea of the going rate for a job in a particular sector. If you see a job which is offering similar hours and responsibilities but with a wildly inflated salary, then that is an indication that there could be no job at all.
Reputable job adverts will have a web link taking you to the company’s own website to apply, a postal address, or email ending in the company’s domain name. There will also usually be a name for the person recruiting, or department. Therefore, be suspicious if all you have to apply to is a generic gmail or yahoo email address, which could be for anyone.