How to Avoid Recruitment Scams
There has been a significant rise in recruitment scams throughout the past decade, an unfortunate addition to the already complex navigation of the modern job market. Often featuring fraudsters impersonating recruiters, recruitment agencies, or hiring companies – The main goal of these scammers is to trick people into paying money or acquiring personal data to sell to third parties. Sometimes hard to spot, fake recruitment posts can be integrated with genuine ones, we have given our best tips to protect yourself against becoming a victim of the new wave of fraudulent schemes hitting job seekers.
Always check the job descriptions
Always keep an eye out when reading job descriptions. This is an easy indicator of whether the people behind the listings are genuine. Try to spot any spelling mistakes, bad grammar, or vague details. If something doesn’t seem right, check the original company’s website to verify the job listing. When a genuine company is posting a job description, it is most common for it to be peer-reviewed by multiple co-workers to ensure it represents exactly what they are looking for, this rules out any room for spelling mistakes, bad grammar, or vague details.
An additional factor to spot when looking at an initial job description is the opportunity. Is it too good to be true? A common technique to lure people into these scams is offering them the dream job. This can come in the form of a very high salary with low entry requirements for example. A good way to spot this is doing research into the job market you are trying to enter; look at average salaries for the roles and experience needed to enter the job level you are interested in. If these two components don’t align, this could be a major red flag on whether the job listing is genuine or not.
Being asked to pay upfront expenses
One of the main goals of a recruitment scam is to get money from you in any way possible. It is a regular occurrence to try to manipulate job seekers to pay for services, equipment, and fees upfront. This is a huge indicator that the company is not genuine as all of the costs of employment are taken care of by the employer. No recruiter or employer will ever ask you for money to go through with employment. Never give your bank details to an employer in the early stages of an interview process or until you have verified that they are a genuine company with a legitimate job offer. Again, never send any employer money directly or pay through a site they have set up.
Being Asked for Personal Details
If a scammer isn’t asking for money, they may be looking to extract your personal details. It is common for criminals to attain personal information to sell to third-party sites or on the dark web. It is important to remember that you will need to submit personal details when accepting a job offer. Until you accept an offer at a company do not share these details. Be careful who you share your social security number, address, contact information and bank details with – make sure you are a confident in the legitimacy of the employer.
Using personal or strange email addresses
Always examine the email address of a company or recruiter that you are in contact with. If the email address makes you question the professional you are speaking with, it is usually an unerring way to spot a scam. If you’re being contacted by @outlook.com, @gmail.com or any other personal domain email addresses, this is a huge red flag. Another example to look for is email addresses that do not include a name or a company. A genuine employer will usually, but not always, have an email which follows to the structure of email@example.com.
Always be Vigilant
Trust your gut instincts – If something doesn’t feel right then act upon it. Keeping an eye out for all of the tips mentioned is the best way to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of a recruitment scam. Always make sure you do your research when it comes to choosing your potential employer, looking at company reviews, websites and history of the company can be a good way to gain clarity on who you are talking to.
Beware of companies who are: newly established, do not have a website or any reviews. This is something to be cautious of as it may have been created recently for the purpose of scamming job hunters. To check the legitimacy of a recruitment agency/company’s site, you can verify the SSL certificate. Look out for a padlock at the top of the site’s browser next to the URL. If it doesn’t have one, this could be a sign of a fraudulent website.
Following these tips should help you stay one step ahead of the recruitment scams infiltrating the job market. Although sometimes hard to spot, going through some of the red flags mentioned may help you from becoming a victim of fraud. If you are still uncertain it can be helpful to ask colleagues, family and friends what they think of the opportunity.
Elsdon Consulting will never ask for any payments from a candidate. All communications from our team will come from our official email domain @elsdonconsulting.com. Our team will be happy to help if you have any queries regarding this.
For more information on recruitment scams and how to spot them, check out the dedicated sites by Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.
For information on who to contact if you suspect you have been targeted by a recruitment scam, please refer to the UK Government’s guide.