With unemployment levels rising, and more and more people desperate for work, the amount of people that look online for a job is at an all time high. Unfortunately, the scammers are posting fake jobs in order to get your money, personal details, or to get you to apply for jobs that you don’t want. I’m going to go through 4 simple ways in which you can spot a job scam to make sure you don’t get suckered in.

Requesting money
If anyone ever requests money from you for applying for a job, it’s a scam. There is no way anyone can expect somebody who is looking for a job to pay for an interview. Unfortunately, as there are more job seekers around now than ever before, some people are falling for this scam.

I’ve seen a fair few sites that charge for a membership with the guarantee that you’ll find a job within a certain amount of time. Cruise ship jobs is a common industry that does this. Make sure you are signing up with a legitimate company, and always run a quick Google search on a company you know nothing about.

Unusually high wages
Obviously when looking for a job online, one of the first things people will look for is the salary. If someone finds a job that they’re familiar in that offers an extremely good salary, their heads will be turned.

Although jobs boards such as Total Jobs, Monster, Gumtree and Jobsite are seen as official sites, there are still scam job offers appearing on them. If you’re looking for a job where the industry average salary is £14000, if there is a job that offers £20000 then be cautious.

Usually these scam job offers are just a way of getting personal details from people, or charging them a fee to be put forward for the position.

Sending from a hosted e-mail address
Being in the digital marketing industry, I sign up to newsletters and mailing lists from reputable sites. When I was looking for a job, I’d leave my CV on lots of jobsite and jobs boards with my contact details available for all to see. Because of this, my email address is available to virtually the entire internet.

Unfortunately, because of this, I am inundated on a daily basis with bogus job offers from many different people. There are many email addresses that send me these, but they all have one thing in common, they’re sent to me from hosted email addresses (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc.) Fortunately, I’m not looking for a job, and even if I was, I’d know straight away that the emails are a scam. But for people with less experience of the internet, it might not seem so obvious.

I’m not saying every single email you receive from Gmail, Hotmail or any hosted email address is a scam, but if it’s something as important as a job offer, I’d expect a company with an online profile to have their own website or email address.

The sad thing about this is that in the current financial situation, more people tend to be out of work. Usually, these job offers seem lucrative, so more people are vulnerable to fall for them. The job offer can vary, but once you correspond with the sender, they usually request a fee or personal details, which they are then free to use how they wish.

Vague job title
This is probably most common with commission only sales and canvassing jobs. I’ve applied to customer service positions before, only to get a call explaining that the job involves knocking on doors trying to sell electric or home improvements.

As you can probably understand, this type of job is fairly undesirable, and understandably so. Cold calling is a difficult job and most people prefer to stay away from this aggressive type of selling. To improve interest in these positions, they use different job titles.

Look out for titles such as ‘Trainee manager’ or anything offering a management program with no previous experience. If a company is paying commission only, they can afford to employ as many people as possible, and if the person isn’t good at the job, they don’t have to pay them.

Basically the people advertising these jobs rely on others desperation for work. Remember that they’re sales people, so they’ll try and make the job sound extremely lucrative, but for many people, it’s difficult and can be soul destroying.

Be careful
These are not the only ways to spot a job offer scam, and there will be scammers who use less obvious tactics, but if you spot any of these tell tale signs, you have to be careful. Make sure you never pay for an interview, and when someone asks you for any personal information, or emails you from a hosted account, check the company out to make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these nasty scams.

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