However whilst the internet has made searching for employment easier, it also provides an opportunity for ID thieves and “scammers” to take advantage of eager and often unsuspecting jobseekers. Online employment scams are occurring more often than most of us are aware of, and some receive little publicity.
Offering false employment opportunities is just one of the scams used, from Data Entry positions to highly paid Management roles; this type of fraud is often undertaken using an array of online services, from simple unsolicited emails to elaborate bogus websites.
Victims are asked to email personal information, sign fake contracts and/or letters of employment, organise UK work visas and are even asked for payments to progress false applications. It is therefore essential that job seekers protect their online identity.
As Recruitment fraud and online scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, make sure that you are one step ahead to safeguard your details, and be aware of your online presence, following these simple steps to protect yourself.
- Respond to any unsolicited emails offering you employment from people that you are not familiar with, often these emails come from free e-mail providers as they are cheap, quick and easy to remove if they are being investigated;
- Disclose your financial or personal details to anyone you do not know – any reputable company will not ask for such sensitive information via email, no matter how convincing any request may appear;
- Send ANY money without fully investigating the company in question, a reputable company will not normally ask for fees to be paid in such a way
- Protect your identity and your data security!
- Be cautious with regards to unsolicited email to any email account – it isn’t just free web-based email accounts such as Yahoo or Hotmail that are targeted;
- Check the content – there has been an alarming increase in fraudulent emails seemingly sent from reputable companies which often include the company’s logos and addresses, checking the content, spelling and grammar of the email may give you an indication of the legitimacy;
- Contact the HR Department of any reputable company – if there is a legitimate employment opportunity they will be aware of it;
- Do your research on ANY potential employer – there are plenty of online resources, such as business directories that you can access to check their legitimacy
- Use your common sense – if it looks too good to be true, then more often than not it usually is
For more information on how to ‘Get Safe Online’ see www.getsafeonline.org, for handy tips and hints for individuals and companies alike.