Tim Jubb |

Fake jobs are on the rise and they are bad news for the recruitment industry. But how can recruiters help? And what should you do when you spot a fake job?

The Importance of Trust

Transactions on the Internet are all built on trust. Whether you are buying groceries, streaming a movie or applying for a job- trust is an essential component to completing any transaction. There are some ways companies can prove their trustworthiness- from initiatives like Trust Pilot to SSL certificates.

However, with every new elaborate scam the harder and more expensive it is to create trust. Trust is vital to finding and sourcing top talent online. Effectively, it's in recruiters interest to help crack down on fake jobs and ensure that candidates can safely apply for jobs online.

Here are some tips and tools on how to spot a fake job:

1. Search Engines

Search Engines are your friend when you see a suspect job post. Use a search engine to research the job. Here are some red flags to look out for:

The job is only on one job board.

Most recruitment agencies and organisations will post a job to multiple boards for maximum exposure. If you can only find the job on a single board, then it may not be real.

There is only one job for the organisation.

Most organisations will be recruiting for multiple open vacancies at any one time. If the only information you can find out about an organisation pertains to this suspect job, then the organisation itself may be fake.

The job doesn't appear on the organisation’s careers site.

Most organisations have a website or careers site to display their current openings. If there is no corresponding job on the careers site, then it could mean the job is fake. Contact the organisation directly to find out if the job is a live vacancy.

2. Social Media

Scammers are getting smart to Social Media. They know that you are likely to check that social profiles exist- so they create corresponding social media profiles for companies and recruiters alike. Genuine recruiters and candidates need to go deeper to verify the validity of those social profiles.

Check connections.

Genuine profiles will likely have a lot of connections from a variety of backgrounds.

Check the history and validity of images.

Social media has been around for a while now. Most organisations and recruiters will have had a profile for many years- and photos and posts to go with it.

3. Links

Modern browsers allow you to quickly verify any links by hovering over them before you click. If the link is a shortened URL (like bit.ly) or is redirecting you to an unexpected destination, then this could be a red flag.

4. Email domains

Most email clients are quite good a filtering out spam. But inevitably some slips through the net. One way you can check yourself if something is amiss is by looking at the domain of the sender. Personal accounts such as Hotmail and Gmail are an immediate red flag. However, also consider domains that may look genuine at first glance. Apple.biz is not likely to be the email domain of Apple inc. employees- so if you have any concerns look carefully at the sender’s email.

5. Job Ad Accuracy

Everyone is prone to the odd grammatical error and spelling mistake. But if a job ad contains more than one error be wary. This can often indicate a fake job.

6. Out of the ordinary requests

Finally- and perhaps the most obvious of all- beware of unusual requests. Anything where you are required to pay money upfront for a DBS check, or processing fee, should be treated as a red flag. Similarly, the only time you should be asked for your bank details is when you are joining your new company.

What should you do if you spot a fake job?

If you think you may have found, or been a victim of a fake job, contact SAFERJobs (https://www.safer-jobs.com/). SAFERjobs is a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation designed to support job seekers, agency staff, and contractors with any suspected fraud, malpractice, breach of legislation, or poor experience they may encounter. SAFERjobs is supported by the DWP, BEIS, Metropolitan Police, and other government and industry organisations.

SAFERJobs will be able to get the fake advert removed from job boards, as well as advising you on the best course of action. 

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