Fake Job Adverts

There are increasing numbers of fake job adverts on the Internet, by email and in newspapers.

If someone you don’t know contacts you and effectively offers you a job then unless you have in demand skills and have been headhunted by an agency, it’s very likely to be a scam.

There are other warning signs that a job advert is a scam, including:-

·         The pay is much higher than you would expect for the work or for your skills.

·         You are effectively told the job is yours without the need for interviews etc.

·         The conditions are too good e.g. part-time for a full time salary, working from home for whatever hours you wish etc.

·         The interview is by Skype – this could be because there are no offices

·         The job requirements are so vague as to let almost anyone qualify

·         Unprofessional emails or letters – poor grammar, spelling mistakes etc.

·         Emails that don’t include company name and contact information or are sent from a personal email account e.g.  a Hotmail or Gmail or Yahoo account etc.

If you do agree to an online interview – make sure to ask lots of questions and don’t give out any confidential information.

Do Your Research

Check the company’s website – do they really have such a vacancy?

Is the site professional and have the information you expect?

For any real company there will be useful information on the Internet. If there is only a record of the company’s existence but no website or anything else – then beware.

Sometimes scammers will use a real company’s name and perhaps misspell it slightly  e.g. If you get an email from marksandspencr.com then it’s a fake.

Confidential Information

Some scammers ask for your National Insurance number, date of birth, bank account information supposedly so they can set-up your salary payment or they may ask you to create a new bank account and give them the details.  Creating an account and giving the access details to someone else would be asking to be scammed and you would be responsible for whatever they did with the account.

If asked to fill in a credit check form or anything else needing confidential information – don’t. That should only happen once you are in the job and know it is real.

Request for Payment

A request for payment of any kind before starting employment is likely to mean a scam.

You may be asked to pay for training, a uniform, a professional review of your cv etc. These should not happen in a legitimate situation. They may ask you to pay for online training software – not a good idea.


The Most Common Job Search Scams

1.  Fake Emails From an Employer, Recruitment Agency or Recruitment Website

The email may be about any of the job listings on the Internet – Monster, Indeed etc. or just that they found your C.V. and think you are an excellent candidate for the role they have.

If you didn’t apply then how could this be?

Many are taken in by the possibility of a suitable job and reply to the email.

The scammer will ask for personal information about you – National Insurance number, date of birth etc. and maybe even bank details so they can set-up your salary payments. But it’s likely to be just a scam- there is no job.

2. Fake Jobs on Social Media

Social media is attracting lots of scammers as it’s a quick and easy way to get to people.

Many create fake profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. then post fake jobs or enticements to people looking for work. The messages may have links to malicious websites or a Trojan horse APP  for download or want to engage and start a romance scam. There are lots of possibilities.

Do be careful on social media – the person sending you messages may not be who they claim to be.

Twitter in particular but sometimes also other social media services use shortened URLS. This looks like bit.ly

and you cannot tell where the link would take you if clicked.  That can be dangerous.

3. Fake Jobs Apparently from Legitimate Employers

Scammers will fake emails from large prestigious companies such as Marks and Spencer, Lloyds Bank, Microsoft etc.

If you receive an unexpected email from such an organisation then go to the appropriate website and check that the job exists.

4. Bogus Jobs on Legitimate Job Boards

It does cost to post jobs on legitimate job sites, but sometimes scammers are willing to do this to get the increased level of trust and find new victims.

If you find a fake job then do let the job site know about it as most have policies for quick removal of fraudulent adverts.

Most job sites do a good job of weeding out fake adverts but they cannot spot every one without help from the users.

5.  Fake Job Boards, Fake Employer Websites, and Fake Recruiter Websites

Some scammers go to the trouble of creating fake websites – and usually they copy a well-known one. In this case copies of job boards, prestigious employers etc.

Check the URL is correct and not misspelled.

The fake website will be designed to get confidential information from you.

There will be reasons why they need your national insurance number, bank details etc.

But if course it’s all fake. 

How to Protect Yourself

Until you have verified that the employer and job are legitimate, be very wary about giving any confidential information.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know – go to the About page then Contact Us.