We live in a time when ‘Fake News’ is fairly common, but what about fake job ads? Applying for jobs can be hard enough without worrying whether you’ve just given your details away to a potential scammer, but if you don’t know how to tell fact from fiction, we’ve got the advice on how to spot fake job ads!
Too good to be true
We’d all like a job that’s nearby, has flexible hours, a great salary and fantastic perks, but if a job looks too good to be true it probably is. If a company is offering £35 an hour to work from home doing really easy tasks and they only want an email or quick call interview it’s almost definitely a scam.
These sort of fake jobs can also be spotted through the application process because you’ll get the job straight away after applying when the scammers know they have a victim, or within a day or two. Normal jobs have a longer process and you probably won’t hear back for at least a week or two while they consider all the applications, and only then will an interview be arranged.
While many scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, scammers still slip up or just don’t make any attempt to look legit. Email’s may feature lack of punctuation, poor grammar, poor sentence structure or email addresses that don’t match up to the company that it’s supposedly come from.
You can check this last part by hovering over the ‘from’ email address – it will often not be the same as the name it looks like. E.G the email may look like it’s come from ‘email@example.com’ but the actual email when revealed may be ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ In the case of sophisticated fake job ads, google the company it has supposedly come from and double check their contact email address, it could be almost identical apart from a hyphen or change in ‘.com’ to ‘.co.uk.’
The email may also not refer to you by your name and may skip any details about the company, the interviewer or the sender. This means it’s a blanket email scam that’s easy to send to a lot of people without having to make any changes. An example may be:
‘Dear jobseeker, Please note that you have been accepted for (insert job title here.) The HR advisor would like to offer you the role, please can you create an email here —- in order for interview to commence.
Above all, if you get sent an email from a company you haven’t contacted about a job you know nothing about, mark it as spam immediately and send it to the trash folder.
Money, money money
This tip on spotting a fake job ad is easy. If they want you to pay anything to ‘secure an interview’ or just be considered for the position it’s a scam. Never give out personal details like your bank or card details, National Insurance number or address to anyone you don’t know, haven’t met and can’t verify. If someone asks you for money like this report the email as spam or phishing, you can Google an email address relevant to your email account like Gmail or Microsoft Office to forward dangerous emails like this onto.
It’s all a bit vague
One of the key ways to spot fake job ads is by their vague description of the job responsibilities or requirements. Many ads focus around ‘general administrative’ tasks that involve working from home and having internet access and they won’t go into detail. The requirements can also be as basic as being a certain age or in a certain location, so lacking that they’re almost giving the job away to anyone.
If you’ve ever accidentally applied for one of these jobs and reach the ‘interview stage’ – almost always done on an online messaging platform or over the phone, they will tell you that full training will be provided and often that experience isn’t necessary.
When it doubt, check it out
If you have applied for a job and you get contacted in a manner that you can’t quite tell if it’s legitimate, turn to Google. Search for the company name and trying adding ‘spam’ at the end, it may be that other people have reported the company or commented about it somewhere identifying it as a scam. Copy and paste parts of the email into Google as well – scammers may change email addresses on a regular basis but may use the same email over and over which others have picked up on.
Try to see if they have a company website, if it is through, grammatically correct and has contact details that match the ones you’ve been given. Look for their Google reviews or any sign of social media, most companies have at least a LinkedIn or Facebook presence nowadays that can help you decide on their authenticity.
If you’re still not sure, and it seems like you’ve got an offer from a well-known company, you can always contact the genuine company and tell them you are worried you may have been sent a false employment offer in their name. They will be able to tell you if the contact you received it from is genuine, if you have been made an offer, or if they’re actually even hiring!
Don’t put yourself through the hassle of separating the fake from the real, take the easy and trusted route by letting us find the right job for you!