Scamwatch: holiday job fraud

Online offers of summer work may be scams...

Students watching at laptop

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we focus on a new scam targeting students - and their parents - with adverts for fake holiday jobs.

How does it work?
Students and their families are being conned out of thousands of pounds in a new scam involving criminals posting fake holiday job adverts online.

Aimed at young people seeking summer jobs, many of the ads purport to be from families looking for nannies or au pairs.

But when young people or their parents respond, the fraudsters behind them ask for money for supposed services including visas, fake criminal record checks and childcare training courses.

According to crime fighting charity Crimestoppers, typical victims lose around £4,000, with one family handing over £10,000.

Adrian Tudway at Crimestoppers said: "We hope that raising awareness of these scams will help to prevent more young people becoming victims."

How can I avoid being caught out?

You can often spot a fake job offer due to the poor spelling and grammar used in the advert.

If in any doubt about a so-called opportunity, meanwhile, you should check up on the accuracy of the information you are given, for example by calling the embassy of the country you are supposed to be going to work in to check how much a visa costs.

It also makes sense to check official records to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

Once you realise that a job or business opportunity you have been offered is fake, you should stop all communication with the supposed "employer" immediately.

Then report the scam to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

You should also contact your bank as quickly as possible if you have handed over any money, or your account details.

More Than 25 People Tricked By One Fake Job Scam