Job hunting? Stay safe!
You wouldn’t think that looking for a new role could be a risky business. But job seekers are being warned to be on their guard as rising numbers of fraudsters tackle those looking for work.
The government has urged people to be cautious, warning that up to 10 percent of job seekers have been conned into calling premium rate numbers for interviews or giving out their personal or financial information. Many of the people affected are just looking to provide for their families and instead face financial hardship at no fault of their own.
One of the most common forms of fraud is phishing, this is when someone sends you an email, posing as SEEK or another trusted company, to attempt to acquire your username, password or credit card details. These deceptive messages often mimic legitimate and trusted organisations, like SEEK, and can be sent via email, SMS, instant messaging or social media platforms. The aim of these emails is to trick you into clicking on links to a fake website where you are encouraged to enter confidential details, or you may accidentally download a ‘Trojan’ or ‘key logging’ program, which could compromise your security.
So, what can you do to ensure you don’t fall victim to fraudsters when applying for new jobs?
Our advice for job seekers:
- Only use a reputable recruitment company which is a member of an industry association such as the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. These organisations adhere to a strict set of standards and make it their business to protect job seekers and clients.
- The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact’s e-mail address doesn’t match the company’s website domain (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com).
- Do not part with any money when registering with a recruitment agency. A reputable agency will not expect payment from you in exchange for finding you a job, there are restrictions which prohibits most employment agencies and businesses charging work-seekers for this type of service.
- Never include personal sensitive information such as your full address, passport number, bank details or national insurance number on your CV. It should only include an overview of your basic personal details, employment and academic history and skills.
- If you are put forward for a role then ask for a detailed job specification, including pay rates, and research the company in question to ensure that it is genuine.
- A reputable agency will not keep your original identity documents.
- Avoid situations where the process of applying for a job is done entirely online. Ensure that you are interviewed face-to-face or at least over the phone before accepting a role.
- Before attending an interview, research the location to ensure it is not an abandoned building, always inform a friend or family member of the details of your interview location.
- You should never let the interview take place in your own home or accept a lift from the person interviewing you.