The internet is a wonderful thing for the job hunter. Prowl its pages in a lunch hour and you’ll find thousands of ads placed on thousands of sites every single day. While the vast majority are perfectly safe, now and then there’s one which bites back.
As in any walk of life, there are always a few people bent on spoiling things for the rest of us. Getting stung by a job scam or fraudulent ad can be very painful indeed – financially as well as emotionally.
To stay safe in your job search we recommend that you visit SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation working to combat job scams. Visit SAFERjobs for information on common scams and to get free, expert advice for a safer job search.
To help you keep your eyes open and your wits about you, here are a few tips to help you avoid any potential scams or fraudulent job offers.
- Only use reputable sites – There are new job sites springing up everywhere, but fraudsters will lurk on the lesser known ones. Use only recruitment agencies and job sites you know and trust, but be warned that even they aren’t immune.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – Work from home for a salary beyond your wildest dreams? Highly unlikely. If it sounds like an out-of-this-world opportunity, it’s probably a scam. Don’t respond to the offer, and if it’s one you found through a job site then you should alert them to stop others being caught out.
- Beware the phisherman’s lure – If someone contacts you out of the blue and claims they’ve seen your details online, be very, very wary. Fake emails will often be littered with spelling mistakes and sound totally unprofessional, but the crooks are getting savvy. Some emails sound plausible and some even claim to be from recruitment sites themselves. Even if you’re getting desperate, the best advice is to ignore them.
- Never give your bank details – The promise of quick cash can make fools of us all. No genuine recruiter would ask for your bank details.
- Never hand out passwords – The job site lost your log-in details? Silly them. Or not… no reputable site would ask for your password, so ignore the request.
- Don’t open the attachment – If they ask you to download something, you know what to do – hit delete straight away.
- Vet your CV – Identity theft is a major issue for job seekers. If you’ve posted your CV somewhere where people can see it, never, ever include your date of birth, address, national insurance number or any other personal details. You’re unique as a snowflake, don’t risk being cloned.
We don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom, or get you too scared to go online. Internet security can’t be taken lightly though, so stay sharp and watch out for the rogue job offers – play it safe and a genuine opportunity will be along before you know it.