Nine tips to follow for a safer job search

Recruitment fraud is a serious crime which often goes unreported by jobseekers. Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated and believable, they come in many guises and affect people in different ways, anyone can be caught out by them.

We take active steps in helping to maintain the privacy and protection of our jobseekers from fraudsters when posting or responding to job adverts online.

We share the information learned through SAFERjobs (Safe Advice For Employment and Recruitment) to actively identify and combat criminal activities and internet scams to help protect our recruiters and jobseekers from being victimised by fraudulent activity.

Here are our security-related tips to help you conduct a safer job search:

Tip 1 - You should be suspicious if you are asked to pay in advance for any of the following; admin or application fees, background security checks, training or to be listed on a directory of jobseekers. 

Tip 2 - Don’t accept money for nothing, for working from home, or cash-in-hand scams. Illegal money laundering or money mule scams involve someone you know asking you to pay money into their account, and then asking you to transfer it back to them electronically in order to earn a small fee.

Tip 3 - Never provide personal details, such as your bank details or passport details, your National Insurance number, date of birth, address, driving licence or utility bills, that are not relevant to an application process. Personal and sensitive information should also not be included on your CV or visible on your social media profiles.

Tip 4 - Don’t share any information with an individual until you have met the recruiter face to face, and when you’re sure they’re a representative of a genuine company. Most job scams are email based, so if you’re asked to click on a link for more information, check out the company first.  

Tip 5 - Be wary of fraudulent emails received from personal addresses that can be set up for free, such as those from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo – it’s unlikely a reputable recruitment agency or business would use such email addresses. Also look out for bad spelling, grammar, punctuation or irregular fonts in job adverts and on websites. 

Tip 6 - Be mindful of job sites that redirect you to other sites, even if the change is subtle like taking you from a .co.uk website to a .com site. Scammers have been known to use fake company domain names, make sure you avoid sites that are registered abroad or seem to be counterfeit versions of established recruitment sites.

Tip 7 - Research the employer who has advertised the role to investigate whether the organisation is genuine by checking landline telephone numbers, social media and other sources. Criminals often send texts or missed call messages to victims asking them to unknowingly call a premium rate number for an initial phone interview and purposefully leave them on hold for a long period of time.

Tip 8 - Job adverts that encourage you to apply immediately and don’t ask for any previous experience are almost always fraudulent. Always ring and ask to speak to the respective Personnel or HR department to confirm the validity of the advert.

Tip 9 - Beware of unexpected personalised job offers via job boards, recruitment agencies or social media websites such as LinkedIn. Deceptive criminals falsely claiming to be head-hunters can access personal profiles to study career histories and CVs to make up ideal positions. An email congratulating you on getting a job before you have even met the employer should not be believed. 

Make sure you follow all nine tips to stay safe in your job search. 

We also recommend that you visit SAFERjobs and read through their free information and advice on how to conduct a safer job search at www.safer-jobs.com