Unfortunately these days it is all too common for job seekers both young and old to be caught out by the numerous fake jobs circulating on professional jobs boards, added to this there are email scams and fishing scams job seekers need to be aware of. The methods that fraudsters use these days are becoming more and more desperate, and unashamedly prey on the vulnerability of those seeking legitimate work.

We would always advise that to protect yourself from these scams, if a job sounds too good to be true then it probably is. But what are the other types of fake jobs and adverts that you need to be aware of? Below we have listed some of the most 'common' types and offer solutions on how you can avoid falling for them.

You receive a job offer straight away

After uploading your CV onto a jobs board website, you get a phone call either the same day or the next saying that they wish to interview you as they were impressed with your CV. In reality, the scammer will actually go on to interview everyone that applied for this job. Many commission based jobs are like this where they will only describe the merits of the job, like the working culture and 'pay' (although you will probably end up working for free) without actually describing what it is you will be doing. Alarm bells should be ringing if this happens to you.

new bogus jobs

The job description and requirements are vague

One of the best ways to spot a fake job on the internet is to read the description and role requirements carefully. If you are applying for a job that nearly half the population could do, then ask yourself why. One of classic signs are the minimum requirements set out in the advert e.g. "must be a UK citizen" "must hold a full UK driving licence". A reputable recruiter trying to attract candidates to a quality position will never leave out the details that describe what is expected of you day to day, and the experience that you will need to qualify for the position.

You receive an unsolicited email

You may unexpectedly receive and email from a source pertaining to be from a legitimate jobs board like Monster or Indeed or from an official company that is recruiting for a position. Normally these letters start of by saying that they came across your resume and feel that you are an ideal candidate for a position. If you have never uploaded your resume onto the jobs board or applied for the job position on offer from a company, then again alarm bells should be ringing. This scam is clever as many job seekers do not keep a check of the numerous jobs that they have applied for, and as a result may be fooled into sending personal information to the scammers by way of a "pre-employment credit check". Always remember that a legitimate company will NEVER ask you for your national insurance number, driving licence details, bank details or payment to secure a job offer.

One way to make sure that you do not fall victim to such a scam is to double check the email credentials or website details of the person that sent you the 'job offer'. Unfortunately some email addresses can be 'spoofed' with the right software to appear from a legitimate source such as a genuine company like Olympus. If you are receiving requests from an email address from a recruiter called for example, John Smith who happens to work for Olympus and the request is to send your details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or JohnSmithRecruiting@gmail then these would not be legitimate, after all a professional recruiter would not ask you to send your details to their personal email but rather to their company email address. So in our example John Smiths actual email may be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fake jobs from real employers

Unfortunately this scam is very common these days with the popularity and amount of jobs circulating around on jobs boards and on company websites. In this scam the real company's identity is stolen and fake jobs are then posted without the company's knowledge. The scammers are relying on the employer's well-known name to advertise jobs that are unrelated to the company in question either through the jobs board or website. Many candidates as a result would mistakenly submit their details to the scammers as they would probably trust a well-known company and would see no reason to doubt the postings.

The jobs board is fake

It is not just jobs on some well-known jobs boards that tend to be fake these days, the whole jobs board itself can be a fake. With a little computer knowledge and the right software, scammers can create a convincing website that can be very hard to recognize as being fake. In order to spot such a website, you may be asked to register you details even before you are allowed to see any actual jobs. By doing this the scammers are able to collect as much personal information as possible from potential job seekers.

In conclusion

We would always say that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to trust your instinct, if a posting or website does not look or feel 'right' then you must never part with any personal information, this includes sending any information to the contact details stated unless you can be sure that the source is legitimate. Similarly you can check the contact information by either phoning to verify that the employer is real and are aware of the posting or by seeing if the contact details match those stated in the Yellow Pages for example. If they do not then you must ask yourself why not. Always be sure to check domain names fully, by conducting an internet search about the employer you will be sure to spot if they are recruiting or if indeed other people are being scammed.

Useful links

If you feel the job you are applying for may be a scam, take a look at Action fraud for more advice on the signs to look out for and what to do next.

Written by Jennifer Megafu

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