We all, I imagine would like to think that we are worldly wise, that nobody could pull the wool over our eyes. We may watch programmes like The Real Hustle and think we would be able spot the trick or “hustle” instantly. However, every single day, people just like you and I fall victim to scams and sometimes when we do realise it, it is too late.
Some of the latest targets for scammers are people looking for a job. With the economy the way it is currently and with millions of people searching for jobs, the scammers think they have a ready made easy target list. Many of these “ scam” jobs may on the surface appear to be quite legitimate. They may be listed on reputable jobs boards and they may appear to be advertising genuine vacancies.
Whilst there is no guaranteed way of determining the legitimacy of some of these scams, there are some things that you can do if you are at all unsure. To help with that, we have today highlighted some basic Top Tips that can help you avoid becoming victim to a Job Scam.
Don’t pay a fee
You should never have to pay money to apply for a job, even if it is a seemingly minimal amount of money, £1 for instance. A reputable employer would never expect an applicant for a job to pay for the privilege. If you are asked to pay money upfront, even if it is claimed it will be refunded later, don’t do it.
Be wary of Premium Rate Numbers
If there is no method of applying for a job other than by calling a Premium Rate number, you should be extremely suspicious. If there is no email address, or landline number, or local number to call, be wary. Most legitimate businesses have a lo-call or freephone or standard landline number. Higher rate dialling codes include 0844, 0871, 0870 and 0845 . Think before you ring.
Check out the Company Website
Most companies these days have a web presence. Check out their website and see if there is a Company Registration number listed or a Vat Registration number. Use Companies House to determine if it is authentic or not. |If a company website is littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, or if the email address seems to be spelt incorrectly, then you should be cautious. A professional organisation would never allow its’ reputation to be tarnished through lack of attention to detail like this.
Google is your friend
If you are sceptical or even slightly dubious about a position, do your research online. Check out the company name, Google the email address, the company address, the names of any points of contact you have been given. If there are issues, chances are you are not the first to find out about them. Check out forums on some of the consumer sites and if there is no information there, then post a question yourself. Some of the information and knowledge of the people wo use some of these sites can be invaluable in helping you determine if a job is legitimate or not.
Don’t believe the hype
If a website or advertisement is filled with testimonials of happy employees, who have all been earning massive amounts of money in these seemingly perfect companies, chances are it is all untrue. Of course they will claim that you too can earn money like this, that you too could be promoted within 3 months of joining, but the likelihood is that you won’t. There are plenty of companies out there who advertise regularly for “Marketing” jobs where you can fast track your way to a management career, where your earning potential is unlimited and then you discover after perhaps interview number 3 that the reality of the role is door to door selling cleaning products on a commission only basis. If the claims seem to be fantastic, that is because they usually are.
And if an advertisement begins with the word “ This is not a scam…” – don’t be fooled. No professional organisation ever has to try and justify itself with such a statement.
If you have been a victim of a Job scam or if you can suggest any other tips that may help TheEmployable community, then please let us know via the comments section below.
If you need more job search and application advice, why not check out our career advice ebook now on sale!