The job hunt is difficult enough. From bad bosses to reckless recruiters, job seekers have enough to contend with without the recent rise in job ad scams. Unfortunately for us however, it seems 10% have already fallen victim to advertisements that are attempting to swindle candidates out of their cash and even for some, their clothes.
Between 2016-2018 we witnessed a 300% rise in recruitment-related fraud and misconduct and whilst for most this is simply a nuisance, for others it has been detrimental to their finances, their businesses and their wellbeing.
An extreme example which hit the news recently centered around a group of makeup artists targeted by somebody claiming to be from a top bridal magazine. With the perpetrator asking them to hand over their passport, drivers license and bank details, there were fears that the women were being lured into human trafficking. Luckily, the scam was picked up by one of the recipients and warnings were shared upon makeup groups on Facebook, saving future victims from the fallout. When contacted regarding the issues, Brides Magazine, the publication whose name was used in the scam, had this to say,
“'Unfortunately, many brands (Brides included) have been misrepresented by such a scam as of late. We are doing our best to put an end to this.”
Using dream job scenarios in order to target women for nefarious means is not uncommon, with clothing company, Boohoo, being used recently as the cover to ask young girls for photos with “less clothing the better”. Claiming to be sourcing models, the job advertisement targeted girls as young as 16 on Indeed’s job boards.
Large job boards like Indeed are prime areas for this type of crime, as the sheer amount of roles uploaded can mean fake advertisements can take days to be flagged up, and although 18-24 year old’s are most commonly the targeted audience, we can all fall victim to these carefully executed ploys.
Tricked into calling premium rate lines for phone interviews, paying for security checks and even conning people into working-from-home schemes that are actually money-laundering roles, Keith Rosser, Chair of SAFERjobs says people are seeing a rise in these issues as “technology is an enabler for crime.”
Crimes like the one reported earlier this week, as a candidate was drained of almost £650,000 after sharing his bank details in order to receive a signing on bonus. Luckily for him, the bank was able to catch the fraud and retract the payment, however others haven’t been so lucky in the past. The key in these scams being successful is the sheer detail which the job descriptions go into, so even those who believe they’d never fall for such tricks are becoming unstuck as to whether a role is real.
Experts suggest that in order to avoid becoming one of many victims this year, you check Companies House to ensure the business is real, ensure the email address used is a company one, not just Gmail or Hotmail, never include your DoB on your CV and if you’re still uneasy about your job search, utilise a recruiter, who will safeguard you against threats.