The economy isn’t in a great place right now, and thousands of people around the country are either out of work, or worried that they are about to be out of work shortly. Employment scams are nothing new, but the scammers have seized on the anxiety many people are feeling around getting work. We’ve all heard the saying that if it appears too good to be true it probably is, but when you’re feeling concerned about paying the bills, it’s easy to take a chance. If you, or someone you know is looking for a job, then here are the top scams to look out for.


Up-Front Fees

One of the main tactics of the scammers is to get applicants to pay up-front fees to secure work. This could be listed as an administration fee, or a processing fee, or you might be asked to be pay for training or a fee to secure an interview. In nearly all cases, these fees are an indication that you’re being ripped off. Employment agencies earn their money by finding people to fill vacancies, not by asking candidates to pay. In many situations where candidates are asked to pay for training or an admin fee, there is no job vacancy to be filled.

However, there are some very limited circumstances in which you might be asked to pay fees which aren’t a scam. A good example of this are DBS checks. For some positions, candidates will ask for a criminal records check. This is most common in healthcare and education sectors. In many cases, the employer will absorb the cost of DBS checks for their workers. But they don’t have to, and many will pass the cost along to candidates. This isn’t necessarily a scam; but follow the same cautious approach and check out everything you’re being told.


Pyramid Scams, and “Get Rich Quick” Scams

The other main class of scams is perhaps easier to spot. These are the adverts which promise untold riches if you invest in cryptocurrency or set up a few banner ads on websites. These “opportunities” never pan out to be exactly what you expected, and in most cases, end up costing you money. Always do your research, whoever is presenting you with this amazing business proposition. Simply googling the company or brand name will tell you everything you need to know.


Money Laundering Scams

Covid-19 has led to a huge increase in working from home, and the scammers have caught onto this too. A common tactic is to advertise internet admin jobs, which involve receiving money into your bank account, deducting your fee, and transferring it on to another account. Steer well clear of these offers. You’ll either be getting involved in money laundering and risk having your back account frozen or be substantially out of pocket when transfers are reversed. The easiest approach is just not to engage with anyone offering this type of work and delete emails before getting drawn into a conversation.