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Job listing scams – 5 red flags

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Job listing scams – 5 red flags

More than 30% of adults in the UK have encountered some kind of employment scam…

Reports of job-related fraud surged by a staggering 259% from 2022 to 2023. Shockingly, one in five targeted by fake jobs suffer financial losses, averaging around £2,300. In response to this alarming surge, the business building experts at Wix.com provided their top tips on identifying fake job adverts, as well as advice on preparing a stellar resume to impress employers right from the get-go.

Don’t get duped: The job listing red flags to look out for, according to experts

  1. Vague job descriptions with too-good-to-be-true promises

A legitimate job description should clearly spell out the job duties. You shouldn’t be left guessing about what the role entails or what your day-to-day tasks will involve. Job listings that advertise extravagant benefits, short working hours and sky-high pay for little to no experience should ring alarm bells for potential scams.

While remote jobs are increasingly common today, scammers often dangle buzzwords like ‘flexible’, ‘work at home’, ‘earn £XXX’ to lure unwitting candidates. Steer clear of job postings that give the impression of get-rich-quick schemes: if an offer appears too good to be true, it probably is.

  1. Bogus web addresses that are devised to deceive

Nearly three million new phishing and fake websites were spotted in the first half of 2023. Job scammers often utilise counterfeit company website URLs in their postings to create an air of legitimacy.

Examine the domain name for any subtle variations, and check the domain age as fake websites typically have short lifespans. Take that extra step to investigate its online presence and the LinkedIn profiles of its employees – a reputable company usually has an official website and active social media accounts.

  1. Unprofessional communication with poor language quality

Exercise skepticism about unorthodox job application methods and communication via messaging apps, as scammers often exploit these platforms to conceal their identity. Legitimate organisations typically refrain from using personal emails for job-related communication, deeming it unprofessional; and would always ask for face-to-face or Zoom interviews to properly evaluate candidates.

Furthermore, be wary of job postings riddled with multiple grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and incomplete sentences as trustworthy companies are unlikely to risk their reputation by publishing sloppy job postings.

  1. Unsolicited job offers that falls right into your lap

Imagine seeing an email or message from a recruiter offering you a job out of the blue – hold your excitement and proceed with caution. In recent tactics, fraudsters have been known to impersonate reputable companies, sometimes even using the names of real recruiters to establish trust. These offers often arrive through social media platforms like Whatsapp, Telegram, or Facebook, promising lucrative job opportunities without requiring you to go through the typical application process and stages of interviews. Such unexpected offers should strike you as a red flag.

  1. Listings involving monetary transactions

Fraudsters often find ways to charm hopeful jobseekers into paying for seemingly reasonable items like training materials, certifications, ‘work from home kits’, office supplies and software. However, remember, you are looking for a job to get paid, not to pay the company for a job.

Legitimate hiring managers don’t require candidates to shell out for training or application fees. Be cautious if a company requests your personal bank account information upfront, sensitive information should not be a part of the early recruitment stage – move on with your job search and steer clear of such requests.

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