It’s no secret that many students and graduates find themselves in a financial rut during or post-University. It’s no wonder then that many can become desperate to find a job to help them get by! But with this brings great risk: CV-Library research (in partnership with SAFERjobs)of 10,000 UK job hunters, found that a third of job scam victims are either currently at university or have graduated within the last year. A massive amount of people!
Our research also suggests that most graduates are unaware of the threat. A staggering 82.4% believe they are not being targeted. Job scams can be tricky to spot, but there are some signs that you can look out for to differentiate between these and a real job advert: we’ve pulled these out for you below.
Too good to be true
If you’re approached with an unrealistic salary offer (e.g. ‘you could make £60,000 a year with no experience required’) then this should ring alarm bells! Genuine job ads might indicate a rough salary bracket, but not place a great focus on it: the soft and hard skills required for the role will have more prominence. If the job ad focuses solely on how much money you could make its probably fake. Combined with stating ‘no experience necessary’, scammers are tapping into those that are desperate for a job.
Asking for money or personal details
A genuine job posting should never ask you for money. Never should you have to pay to process an application, for a holding fee or for training / security checks! And security checks should only occur after you’ve been hired. Remember that a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check is no longer a thing (it’s now a DBS check – Disclosure and Barring Service). So, if you’ve been asked to pay for one then it’s most likely a scam. Similarly, you should never be asked to provide any details that you wouldn’t ordinarily include on your CV (such as your bank details and driver’s license information). An employer will only ask for these once you’ve been given a formal job offer or once you’ve started your new job.
Scams will often be riddled with spelling mistakes, terrible grammar and look as if they were quickly put together or copied through an online translator. But don’t become too bogged down with small mistakes! While genuine job postings are unlikely to have spelling mistakes, even the professionals are human and will make errors – if it has one spelling fault in it don’t eliminate it entirely.
Dodgy contact details
Personal or randomised email addresses, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org should ring alarm bells, as well as contact numbers that look made-up, have an unrecognisable area code or appear to be a premium rate number. It’s worth doing a quick search for the recruiter or employer on LinkedIn to see if they are the real deal, as well as searching for the company on Google to double check their name, address, website and phone number for certainty.
No interview required
A formal interview should be expected at the very least – so don’t be fooled by a potential employer who tells you that you won’t even need to meet them to get the job! There are usually a few stages (both on the phone and face to face) before an offer is made. And, if it only takes minutes for the ‘recruiter’ to contact you about your application and to offer you the job, then they’re most likely a scammer!
What to do if you think you’ve found a job scam
In order to stay safe, keep these key warning signs front of mind. If you’re even slightly concerned about a job advert, you should treat it with caution – don’t think that it could never happen to you and apply for the job anyway! If you think you’ve spotted a job scam, notify whoever is displaying the ad, or report it to SAFERJobs, who will be more than happy to look into your concerns.