Job Scams Are Increasing – Can You Spot A Fake?

There has been a significant increase in job scams in recent years, our friends at JobsAware witnessed a 65% rise in reports of UK job posts advertising fake roles since March 2020.  Out of 1,000 job seekers surveyed by the charity, seven in ten said they believed they’d applied for at least one role that didn’t exist.

So how can you tell if a job vacancy is genuine or not?

Fake jobs can be very difficult to spot, and you may have seen the BBC’s recent ‘jobfished’ investigation which revealed a fake design agency which recruited over 50 members of staff into fake jobs.  The virtual world in which many of us work has made such complex scams easier to achieve and much more convincing than pre-pandemic.

We’ve previously chatted with Keith Rosser, Chair of JobsAware, and he suggested some red flags that could help you spot a fake job:

  1. Job adverts with no real experience necessary;
  2. Vague adverts and/or job descriptions;
  3. Relative ease of getting the job with minimal selection process;
  4. Admin details – e.g. your contact’s email address not matching the company they work for;
  5. Speed and pressure to start urgently.

In many instances the fake adverts are specifically designed to cast the net widely and attract as many applicants as possible.  This doesn’t that all such adverts are going to be scams, but if you are considering applying for something which has any red flags it’s worth doing so with a degree of scepticism.

Unfortunately the psychology of needing a job makes people vulnerable and less likely to question suspicious activity, so if you are jobseeker please be alert to the possibility of being scammed.  Not only do you need to protect yourself but there is also evidence of fake jobs being linked to money muling, money laundering and ultimately funding terrorism.

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