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Get Safe Online Safe Job Searching campaign
Alert message sent 02/07/2021 10:25:00
Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch
With so many people looking for work – and so much being advertised – you need to be sure you’re applying for a genuine job. Don’t fall victim to an employment scam.
Like many other aspects of life, the job market has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a succession of business closures, redundancies and migrant workers returning home.
Now, with restrictions easing and life returning to normal, the employment market is becoming busier, with many more jobs being advertised – mainly online – and huge numbers of applications for each role.
Employment scams have always been commonplace, ranging from being charged for non-existent DBS or CV checks to money laundering. But the current situation is being heavily exploited by cybercriminals, with 74% of job seekers applying for jobs that weren’t genuine during the pandemic*. Fall for one, and you could become a victim of financial or identity fraud, or even unwittingly pick up a criminal record. Read our expert tips, and don’t let this happen to you.
*Disclosure & Barring Service / JobsAware
Your top tips for safe job searching
Do thorough research to ensure job sites, employment agencies and prospective employers are reputable, with a physical address and landline phone number.
When listing your profile, select the option of keeping it public, confidential or private according to your needs.
Never divulge information such as NI, passport or driver’s licence numbers, bank account/payment card information or date of birth, either typed on your CV or application, or in photos/scans. This could lead to identity theft. Supply these only when you’ve met the employer, landed the job and are satisfied that everything is legitimate.
Devise and use strong passwords, keep them protected and don’t use them on more than one online account or other website. Please read the advice on the Get Safe Online website about how to devise strong passwords and keep them protected.
If you receive an email claiming to be from a potential employer who has seen your CV on a job site, take care when clicking on links and ensure they lead to a legitimate job posting.
Don’t call advertisers for telephone interviews, it could be an expensive premium rate number. Instead, make sure prospective employers call you.
Be wary of jobs that offer income for very little work or seems too high to be true, don’t need any experience or press you to apply immediately. These could involve you in money laundering or muling.
Bear in mind that many fraudulent job ads can be found on social media sites.
Be wary of requests for up-front payment for CV services, DBS or other security checks or headshots.
Don’t conduct the entire process via website, email, text or messaging. Most genuine employers will require a face-to-face (or video) interview, and that way you can check them out too.
Ensure that potential employers are genuine before meeting for a face-to-face interview, to ensure that your personal safety isn’t at risk.
If you’ve been the victim of a recruitment scam, report it to SAFERjobs at www.safer-jobs.com.
If you’ve been defrauded as a result of applying for a job, report it to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, call Police Scotland on 101.
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of information and advice on online safety and security, for the public and small businesses. It is a not-for-profit, public/private sector partnership backed by law enforcement agencies and leading organisations in internet security, banking and retail.
For more information and expert, easy-to-follow, impartial advice on safeguarding yourself, your family, finances, devices and workplace, visit www.getsafeonline.org.
If you think you’ve been a victim of online fraud, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre on 0300 123 20 40 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk. In Scotland, report fraud to Police Scotland by calling 101.