Home Tips How To Spot A Career Fraud
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How To Spot A Career Fraud

We frequently share information on scams about fake goods, property rentals, and other financial fraud. One area in which scammers also operate is in offering bogus career opportunities. 

Many people get lured by the prospect of landing their dream job, only to find that the employment opportunity is fake, but they are out of pocket too. As unemployment rises, more people are going to become vulnerable to scams offering fake job opportunities.

The rise in online and remote working practices makes it easier for scammers to pull off career-based scams, as it is reasonable for candidates to expect an online interview process. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against career scammers.

Make A Direct Application

If you are presented with a dream job opportunity with an established company, you should apply directly through its website. A direct application will ensure that the vacancy exists and that you will not be scammed during the interview process. Using reputable recruitment websites is also relatively safe. However, if you have any doubts about the job advertisement’s authenticity, you should go directly to the company.

Photo of person on laptop looking at job application

Be Wary If Headhunters Contact You

A common tactic used by scammers is to pose as a headhunter and contact ‘candidates’ directly. They will tell you that they’ve been sent your CV and that you’re an ideal fit for a (fake) job.

Of course, it can be incredibly flattering to be contacted in such a manner, and genuine headhunters often adopt such a practice. However, you could be the victim of an employment scam, so you need to take care.

You should consider how genuine the offer of employment might be. Look for inconsistencies in the headhunter’s email, website, phone number, etc. Chances are, you will be going through this fake process online, so you should be able to get such information quite easily. If you cannot, be extremely suspicious.

Refuse Pay-To-Play Offers

One of the most significant warning signs you might notice of a potential scam is when you are asked to part with money to advance the interview process. Scammers will typically ask you to pay a fee to process an application or conduct pre-employment checks.  No reputable employer will ask you to pay for something involved with their employment process. Even if you are confident that the vacancy is genuine, a company asking for such fees is an indication that something suspicious is occurring.

Photo of cautious man on laptop looking for jobs

Once you’ve willingly transferred funds to a scammer, it can be challenging to retrieve them. So, avoid parting with your money at all costs.

Protect Your Personal Details

An employment scam may not involve you handing over any money directly. The scammer’s sim may be to get hold of personal information, including your bank details. It can be tricky to spot this type of fraud, as people are used to giving their data when they start a new role. 

One of the key indicators is the scammer asking for bank details early in the process. Typically, a company will not require your bank details until they put you on the payroll. The canny scammer may be aware of this and issue a phony offer of employment.


The promise of your dream job can leave you vulnerable to career scams. Hopefully, the knowledge you’ve gained from this article will protect you from such unscrupulous scammers.

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