With an increase in reports of hiring scams in the UK, we'd like to remind candidates how they can keep themselves safe. Click here for more info

Careers Toolkit

A guide

How to protect yourself from recruitment scams

The BBC has published an article highlighting an increase in recruitment scams.

The number of scams involving the impersonation of genuine recruitment companies and the advertisement of fake jobs to steal sensitive personal information reported to Action fraud is on the rise.  

Recruitment scams generally involve scammers luring victims in with the potential of extra work or income before taking their personal information and, in some instances, income. These criminals have been using reputable job websites to target their victims, who place their CV and other work details on the sites to gain work.

Protecting yourself from recruitment scams

In the intense candidate-led market of recent years, candidates being contacted directly by recruitment agencies has become the norm. While this generally enables a positive experience for job seekers looking for work, it can make them particularly vulnerable to a variety of recruitment scams even when using legitimate job websites.

While recruitment scams vary in sophistication, general red flags are:

  • The message you receive is unexpected.
  • You receive a message from an email address/phone number you do not recognise.
  • The available work presented to you is too good to be true.
  • The job advert/communication you receive is generally poorly written and contains errors.
  • The person you are speaking to asks for money to place you into work or for training.

With the exception of the final point, all of the above can also be part of a regular application process (who doesn’t send the odd typo?). However, if you are ever in doubt, please contact the recruitment company in question directly, not the recruiter contacting you about the role. The company will be able to advise you as to whether they have advertised this position, and received your application, and have an employee by the name of the person you are working with.

If you suspect you are being contacted by a scammer or have been a victim of a recruitment scam

If you believe you have been in contact with an individual attempting to commit a recruitment scam, you should:

  • Immediately stop communicating with the scammer.
  • Report the details of your communication with the scammer to JobsAware and Action Fraud.

Further information on safe job seeking can be found on the JobsAware site.

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