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Job seekers need to be aware of employment scams

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People looking for work could be easy prey for scammers. Keith Rosser from SAFERjobs joins us as a guest author to tell us more about employment scams.

Being headhunted for a career promotion is usually a real ego-booster, and hearing that an employer wants to make that job offer is normally great news.

Yet sadly job scams are on the rise, both via out of the blue contact by a ‚Äėhead-hunter‚Äô or a reply to a job application made online. With two thirds of job seekers looking to find their next job online, and an estimated one in three looking to move job each year, job scams are only likely to increase.

The cost of job fraud

Scams take a number of forms, equally job scams can range from asking for money in advance for bogus background checks, paying for training prior to employment, requesting a job seeker to call a number for a telephone interview that turns out to be a premium rate number, identity theft, or even money laundering through work from home scams.

According to Action Fraud figures, the average cost of a job scam to an individual is £4,000. And In the last 12 months SAFERjobs has received almost 700,000 visitors to the site for help and advice, with job seekers reporting over £0.5m in suspected job fraud.

There are other costs too, for example, some cases where individuals have resigned from genuine employment and been left out of work.

Job seekers have also lost out through identity theft, with their details used to set up bogus companies or items bought under finance in their name.

Stay safe when job-seeking

To keep yourself safe when job seeking, we recommend using recruiters who are signed up to SAFERjobs and so have committed to job seeker safety. ActionFraud also provides some further advice for protecting yourself from employment scams.

Have you spotted a potential job scam or heard about anyone falling victim to one?

This is a guest post by Keith Rosser, Chair of SAFERjobs. All opinions are Keith’s own, not necessarily those of Which?


This is a modern issue it used to be you went to a Dept of Employment and looked for a job , or you opened up a newspaper and looked at the job ads . As someone who got around some jobs none of of those ripped me off or caused me trouble on any real sort , the worst would be the job wasnt as attractive as advertised but nothing major . Now with this “small government policy ” -a la the USA the sharks have moved in ,it is not surprising to me deregulation / quangos and all the rest are just the policy of both Tory and “new ” Labour for a long while now which is a laissez faire way of saving money by transferring the onus on the propriety of public facing help organizations onto the public responsibility and then blaming the public if they get it wrong by not being #1-, intelligent enough – #2- not up to scratch with the “modern way of working ” blatantly aimed at older members of the public in a patronising way . No, sorry if I am send back here with the same inner knowledge one of those organizations I will never use. I will personally walk into companies that advertise for staff and talk to them or email or phone direct.