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11/21/2016 3:13:58 PM

How to avoid becoming the victim of a recruitment scam

Recruitment fraud is a growing issue in the modern era, where anonymous online communication and access to personal data have made it easier than ever for fraudsters to target your identity or cheat you into sending a payment willingly.
 

What is recruitment fraud?

The shortest definition of recruitment fraud is when someone offers you a job that doesn't exist, and this may involve apparent vacancies in foreign countries or with lucrative salaries and benefits, often sent to you in response to posting your CV on an open-access online jobs board.

You may be interviewed, either by email or telephone, which gives the fraudsters chance to reinforce the apparent legitimacy of the vacancy they are offering, as well as to try and find out extra personal information about you, such as where you grew up.

Eventually you may be offered the job, but told that there is a fee payable, either for supposed recruitment agency services, or for transport or accommodation to visit the company in person - and if you pay this first fee, you're likely to be asked to send more and more money.

Of course there is no actual job, and you should always be wary of any opportunity that appears too good to be true, or is offered seemingly out of nowhere, even if it comes in response to posting your CV online.
 

How to identify a scam

Vigilance is one way to avoid becoming the victim of a recruitment scam, and if you're honest with yourself, you're likely to know when an opportunity sounds too lucrative to be realistic, or when alarm bells are ringing for any other reason.

Be careful about the information you put on your CV too, especially if it is going to be published online for anyone to download - under the Equality Act 2010 you don't have to tell an employer your exact age anyway, so you may wish to leave your date of birth off if you are worried about identity fraud.

Never send out your bank account details to someone who contacted you unsolicited via the internet and asked for them - if the vacancy is legitimate, any reasonable employer or agency will let you make your own transport and accommodation arrangements if you wish.
 

If you fall for a scam

Finally, if you think you have fallen victim to recruitment fraud, inform your bank. If you have given your account details to criminals, you may need to close the account and open a new one, put a stop on any credit or debit cards, or at least allow the bank's fraud team to be on the lookout for transactions on your account from unusual locations or for unusual amounts.

You should also report the incident to Action Fraud, and provide them with as much evidence as you can about what has happened, so that they can investigate the source of any emails and other communication, and warn any relevant organisations that scammers are using their website to target victims.

Recruitment fraud is only a problem if you fall for it - with vigilance and a sensible approach to any unexpected job offers, you can stay one step ahead and protect your identity and your income against the scammers.

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