Could you be taken in by a fake job ad?

email job scam

Nearly three in four job hunters are unaware that not all jobs on online sites are genuine, running the risk of being swindled out of their cash.

A survey of over 2,000 workers by jobs site CV-Library and non-profit organisation SAFERjobs has revealed that 71.3% of workers would assume that any job posted online is a legitimate posting from a real business.

Even more job seekers - 72.1% - admit they wouldn't recognise the signs of a scam. And 98% of candidates say that they would still continue with an application, even if they were suspicious that a job might not be genuine.

"Today's job market is flourishing and there's an abundance of opportunities available to workers looking for their next move. Unfortunately, this can make it even easier for scammers to hide among genuine postings and take advantage of unsuspecting candidates," says Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library.

"At CV-Library we use automated and manual tools to ensure every job positing is legitimate, but there are other platforms that fraudsters use to lure their victims and it's critical that job hunters are educated on the risk of online job scams."

There are a number of signs to look out for. The commonest are the use of a personal email address such as, or company email addresses that don't match up to the real thing. Spelling and grammatical mistakes are a red flag too.

It's also important to remember that if it looks to good to be true, then it probably is. Unrealistic salaries, the promise that no experience is necessary and job offers without interviews are all signs that something may be wrong.

And to avoid losing money as well as wasting time, job hunters should be wary of requests for payment for criminal checks. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check has been replaced by one from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which shouldn't cost more than £75.

Finally, the use of premium rate phone numbers is a bad sign.

Most scams involve several of these features, says Keith Rosser, chair of SAFERjobs.

"If a job is advertising an unrealistic salary, stating that no experience is necessary and providing a personal email address on a posting full of spelling mistakes, then a candidate should be cautious," he says.

"That's not to say there aren't jobs out there that might include the odd typo, or not require specific experience, but it's better to check with the site on which the job is advertised."

According to Crimestoppers, students looking for holiday jobs are particular targets for scammers, with one family losing an extraordinary £10,000.

Job hunters are advised to stick to jobs websites that are affiliated with SAFERjobs, and to report any scams to Action Fraud.

Con Artists Reveal Scamming Tricks

Victims of scams and fraud
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Could you be taken in by a fake job ad?
Susan Tollefsen, Britain's oldest first time mother, was scammed out of £160,000 by a fraudster she met on an online dating site. A man claiming to be an Italian gold and diamond dealer told her he was in the middle of a land deal but couldn't access cash. Tollefsen felt sorry for him and started wiring him money, eventually selling her jewellery, her flat and borrowing £32,000 from friends to give him. Read the full story here.
In March 2015 an American woman who was only identified as 'Sarah' went on the popular US television programme the Dr Phil Show to reveal she had sent $1.4 million to a man that she had never met. Although she was certain she wasn't being scammed, her cousin made her go on the programme because she was convinced it was a scam. Find out more about the story here.
Maggie Surridge employed Lee Slocombe to lay a £350 deck in her garden in March 2015. However Slocombe used a combination of lies to scam Surridge out of thousands of pounds. He told Surridge that the front and back walls were dangerous and needed rebuilding and also conned her into building a porch, all for the cost of £8,500. Read the full story here.
It's not just individuals who can be the victims of scams, big corporations can also fall foul of these fraudulent practices. In 2015 Claire Dunleavy repeatedly used a 7p 'reduced' sticker to get significant amounts of money off her shopping at an Asda store in Burslem, ending up with her paying just £15.66 for a shop that should have cost £69.02. Read the full story here.
Sylvia Kneller, 76, was conned out of £200,000 over the space of 56 years thanks to scam mail. The pensioner became addicted to responding to the fraudsters, convinced that she would one day win a fortune. Ms Kneller would receive letters claiming she had won large sums of money but she needed to send processing fees to claim her prize. Learn about the full story here
Leslie Jubb, 103, became Britain's oldest scam victim in August last year when he was conned out of £60,000 after being sent an endless stream of catalogues promising prizes in return for purchasing overpriced goods. The extent of this con was discovered when Mr Jubb temporarily moved into a care home and his family discovered what he had lost. Find out more about this story here
Stephen Cox won more than £100,000 on the National Lottery in 2003 but has been left with nothing after falling victim to two conmen. The 63-year-old was pressured into handing over £60,000 to the men who told him his roof needed fixing. They walked him into banks and building societies persuading him to part with £80,000 of cash while doing no work in return. See the full story here
Last year the Metropolitan Police released CCTV footage of a woman who had £250 stolen at a cash machine in Dagenham. The scam involved two men distracting the woman at the machine, pressing the button for £250 then taking the money and running away. Read about the full story here.
Rebecca Ferguson shot to fame as a runner up on the X-Factor in 2010 but fell victim to a scam artist last year when someone she had believed to be a friend conned her out of £43,000. Rachel Taylor befriended the singer in 2012 and claimed to be a qualified accountant, so Ferguson allowed her to look after her finances. Instead of doing this Taylor stole £43,000 from the Liverpudlian singer. Read more here
When Rebecca Lewis discovered her fiance had started a relationship with a woman he met online she packed her bags to leave. But that didn't stop her checking out the mystery woman, Rebecca quickly realised Paul Rusher's new love was actually part of a romance scam. She told Paul just before he sent the scammers £2,000 which was supposed to bring his new girlfriend to England. Find the full story here.

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