4 warning signs that a job advert might be fake: expert – Business Insider

If you’ve applied for a job but something about the advert doesn’t sound quite right, you’re right to be wary.
Just as “Tinder Swindlers” are using dating apps to con people to invest in fake cryptocurrencies, scammers are exploiting the pandemic to trick people into applying for false roles online, according to a recruitment charity. 
Since March 2020, JobsAware, a charity originally founded by the London’s Metropolitan police to prevent job fraud, has witnessed a 65% rise in reports of UK job posts advertising fake roles.
Out of 1,000 job seekers surveyed by the charity in 2021, seven in 10 said they believed they’d applied for at least one role that didn’t exist. It’s no isolated issue; in the US, the Better Business Bureau estimateed that as many as 14 million people are exposed to job scams each year.  
“There are definite things about the new world of work that makes fraud easier,” Keith Rosser, chair of JobsAware, told Insider.
Job losses during the pandemic meant that people were more desperate for work, Rosser said. The new normality of video calls has made it easier for scammers to recreate fake interview, something that was previously difficult, he added. 
Scams generally fall into two main categories, identity theft or financial theft but they can be as complex as establishing a whole company to trick people to work for them
Fake ads can be hard to spot but Rosser said there are some warning signs that should cause you to think twice
Scammers may offer roles with a low barrier of entry to get as many people to apply as possible. They’ll usually offer a decent salary but won’t require much experience or qualifications in order to apply. 
Rosser said: “It could be for example, ‘we’re looking for new journalists. We want someone with new perspectives. You don’t need any experience, just want to start journalism.’ Oh, and by the way, you get £30,000. ” 
They may respond very quickly asking for bank details or proof of identity, which can trick people into giving away information.
“People are hardwired into thinking, ‘Well, I’m applying for a job, I want to impress my employer. So I’m going to respond to their requests quickly’,” Rosser said. 
“Advance fee fraud” is one of the more commonly reported scams to JobsAware.
It can be a bit of a grey area when recruiters ask for a fee upfront because there are some circumstances where they are allowed to do so, Rosser said. For example, to pay for a police check or potentially, a uniform.  
“But I’d still say that 90% of job applications and job offers don’t include that the work seeker should pay money,” Rosser said.  It’s important to really query it if you’re asked.
Unfair pressure to progress your application quickly after you’ve applied could be another warning sign, Rosser said. 
“It’s really easy to say this in isolation but if you’ve applied for a job and suddenly you’re under pressure to hand over information or money or it seems like you get a lot of ‘it starts on Monday,’ that pressure could be a sign,” Rosser said. 
A lot of scammers are based overseas so English may not be their first language, which shows in the job adverts. Be wary of bad spelling or grammar mistakes, Rosser said. 
Likewise, job adverts that are vague and only use generalized non-specific language could potentially be fake, Rosser said. 
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