POSTED: June 02 2016
Job Hunters Are Unaware of Job Scam Signs

Job Hunters Are Unaware of Job Scam Signs

The task of looking for a job has become a digital one, as workers increasingly use online job sites, social networks and search engines to find the next step for their career. However, with the digital age opening up a can of fraudulent worms, new research suggests that job hunters aren’t savvy enough when it comes to spotting the signs of a job scam.

The news comes from a survey of over 2,000 workers, which was conducted by CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, in partnership with the e-crime non-profit organisation, SAFERjobs, which operates in association with the Met Police. The research aimed to uncover how much UK workers know about online job scams, and the results reveal a worrying lack of awareness and understanding:

• The majority (72.1%) of job hunters admit they do not know and would not recognise the signs of a job scam
• A worrying 71.3% of workers would assume that any job posted online is a legitimate posting from a real business
• Even if they did feel suspicious, 98% of candidates would still continue with an application, despite feeling that a job may not be legitimate

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments: “Today’s job market is flourishing and there’s an abundance of opportunities available to workers looking for their next move. Unfortunately, this can make it even easier for scammers to hide amongst genuine postings and take advantage of unsuspecting candidates. At CV-Library we use automated and manual tools to ensure every job positing is legitimate, but there are other platforms that fraudsters use to lure their victims and it’s critical that job hunters are educated on the risk of online job scams.”

In order of commonality, Biggins shares some key indicators of a job scam:
• Personal email addresses i.e. joebloggs@hotmail.com
• Regular spelling and grammatical mistakes, which could indicate poor translation
• Unrealistic salaries (if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is)
• Stating ‘No Experience Necessary’ as a job title
• A job offer without an interview
• Extortionate DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) costs (anything over £75 should be queried), or requesting a candidate to pay for a CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau), which no longer exists
• Premium rate phone numbers for interviews
• Illegitimate company names and web addresses

Keith Rosser, chair of SAFERjobs, comments: “Job hunters have to be vigilant. There are many job sites out there that don’t work to protect candidates from scams leaving them open to falling victim. Our advice is to use a site that is partnered with SAFERjobs – this partnership indicates that proactive measures are being taken to fight scammers.”

Furthermore, the research suggests that a lack of education is to blame for job hunters putting themselves at risk, as respondents were unable to correctly identify the signs of a scam:

• Over half of workers (58.3%) do not know what a DBS check is, wrongly identifying CRB as an appropriate security check, despite the switch being made in 2012
• When asked to pay for their own security checks, 58.5% could not estimate how much it should cost them
• 54.8% would not check the authenticity of a job post’s web address before applying
• Only 6.8% of job hunters felt that being offered a job without an interview would indicate a hoax

According to Biggins and Rosser, a scam is also likely to contain a series of red flags, rather than a sole element. “For example,” Biggins explains, “if a job is advertising an unrealistic salary, stating that no experience is necessary and providing a personal email address on a posting full of spelling mistakes, then a candidate should be cautious. That’s not to say there aren’t jobs out there that might include the odd typo, or not require specific experience, but it’s better to check with the site on which the job is advertised.”

Rosser confirms: “Any reputable site that is partnered with us will be happy to look into a posting on a candidate’s behalf in order to ensure safety and provide peace of mind.”

Rosser concludes: “Awareness of online job scams and the tricks criminals use to execute a con is essential to combating this crime. Our organisation is dedicated to educating the public on the very real risk of online job scams – it’s critical that the general public know which signs to look out for and are diligent in their job search. Job hunters should always use trusted sites, and keep the signs of a scam in mind when looking for work online.”

SAFERjobs and CV-Library are working in conjunction to make online job searching safer for UK workers. Learn more about CV-Library at www.cv-library.co.uk and SAFERjobs at www.safer-jobs.com