January and February are peak months in the job market, and the cost-of-living crisis also means that more of us than ever are looking for extra work to top up the family finances. But did you know that many of the job postings you come across might not be all they seem? The Disclosure and Barring Service, the official body which issues the criminal records checks many workers need before they start work, has compiled a list of the seven tell-tale signs which might indicate a scam.

  • Badly-Written Adverts – all legitimate job adverts will have a job description, hours of work, salary, required experience or qualifications. If a job advert is lacking in these basic details, or has many spelling and grammar issues, then this is your first indication that it might not be genuine.
  • Contact Details – if you’re not directed to a company website or a land line number, then be suspicious. A scam job post will generally have a mobile number or generic email address rather than company contact and often won’t have a physical address either.
  • Excessive Salary – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re in the job market, you will know the going rate for the sorts of positions you are applying for. If you see an advert offering way above the market rate, be suspicious.
  • No interview – any reputable company is going to want to check you out before you start work, even if it’s just a 10-minute casual chat. An advert which offers immediate start, no questions asked, should be treated with extreme caution.
  • Money Requests – there are some situations in which an employer can ask applicants to pay for their own DBS check before starting work. However, this is more common in large NHS trusts. Don’t ever part with money without being absolutely sure that the position you are being offered is genuine.
  • Dodgy Companies – it is a legal requirement for companies to be registered on Companies House, and if you can’t find the name of the company which is offering you a job, this is a good indication that the posting is a scam.
  • Overseas companies – some overseas companies do recruit in the UK and just because a company is based overseas that does not automatically mean it is a scam. It just means applicants have to do their homework about the company first. The internet makes it much easier to research companies, wherever they are located.

The more you look at job adverts, the easier it gets to spot the ones which just aren’t right. It’s a buyers’ market at the moment in terms of job hunting, with employers struggling to recruit enough staff. This gives the upper hand to job hunters. So, take your time, stick to the reputable job-hunting sites and always take your time to check out the company and the position being offered before taking the time to apply.