Millions of dollars were ripped from Aussie jobseekers last year, while more than 3000 get-rich-quick scams were reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Young people in particular are being warned to protect their personal information while applying for jobs after more than $8.7m was lost to recruitment scams in 2022.
A whopping 3194 reports of job scams were made to Scamwatch in the past year, with many of the victims lured on the promise of making money quickly.
Scammers are often posing as recruiting agencies on behalf of high-profile companies and online shipping platforms.
“Thousands of young Australians have finished school and graduated from university, with high hopes about their future careers and the intention to look for work in the new year,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says.
“Unfortunately, they are being targeted by scammers.”
Australians aged between 25 and 44 have reported the highest losses to these scams.
“If you are job hunting and you are offered work that requires little effort for a big financial reward, it is most likely a scam,” Ms Rickard says.
“This might include repeatedly clicking a button on a website or app to purchase products or submit reviews.”
Australians are being warned not to make a payment or upfront investment to secure a job.
“If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately,” Ms Rickard says.
How to avoid getting scammed
Use common sense
If a role is offered you to without an interview or discussion about your experience, suitability and references, it is likely “too good to be true”.
Recruiters do not typically approach potential hires via encrypted message apps such as WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram.
Research the recruiter or business
A quick google of the recruitment company or the business should prove helpful.
An easy way to check if the recruitment is legitimate is to cross reference the company’s contact details with those used to contact you.
If in doubt, you can always call the company directly to confirm.
Never give financial or personal details out to strangers
Never send money or give your personal information, credit card, online bank or cryptocurrency account details to anyone you don’t know. This includes people you are communicating with on social media or over the phone.
The notorious Hi Mum scam proved scammers may even impersonate a loved one to extract money.
When in doubt, try to call the person over the phone to confirm their identity.
Avoid upfront payments
Avoid any arrangement which requires you to make an upfront payment via bank transfer, PayID or cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.
As well, do not take payment or agree to receive rewards for recruiting other people into a scheme.
Don’t be pressured to act quickly
A legitimate offer will not require you to make an immediate decision.
Be careful how much personal data is in your resume
Your physical address and date of birth are not typically required to apply for a job.