Careers Service


Scam jobs and how to avoid them?

The Careers Service reviews each job advertisement it places in an effort to ensure jobs are genuine, lawful and non-discriminatory.

However, you may occasionally see jobs which are not genuine and whose only purpose is to take advantage of you as a job seeker, usually financially! Sometimes these are illegal, but often they exploit loopholes or grey areas in the law, or rely on the applicant not reading and understanding what they are getting into. These are often called 'scams' or in some cases 'phishing' if they are attempts to obtain your financial/personal data for fraudulent purposes.

Tips for avoiding scam jobs

  1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. If a company asks you to ring a premium rate number as the only way to apply, be very wary.
  3. Be suspicious if directed to different numbers, websites or a different company name than the one in the advert you responded to. This may be done to hide a bad reputation or a scam.
  4. Avoid schemes where you make money by signing up new members to sell for you.
  5. Make sure you ask questions about the job if you are unsure.
  6. Do not be pressurised to sign up to anything you do not fully understand.
  7. Do not part with any money unless you understand exactly what you are getting.
  8. When you first apply do not provide bank or financial information, passport or similar identification. These might be required later, but only if you get the job.

If in doubt:

  • Do not apply for the job.
  • Do not agree to sign anything.
  • Do not pay for any services on offer.
  • Do not return any contact with the organisation.
  • Ask the Careers Service for a second opinion.

Get advice on scams

There are increasing numbers of websites which provide advice on online fraud, scams and identity theft, including some written by the banks and different Police authorities across the UK - you can find these from a google search.

If you believe that you have been victim of an employment scam:

Report it! Only if these scams are reported can the Police and the government Office of Fair Trading take action. You can also get advice on what your chances of recovering any money that you might have paid.

  1. Keep copies of all correspondence about the job, write down names, dates and everything you can remember.
  2. Call the Citizens' Advice Bureau helpline on 08454 040506 for advice on what to do next.
  3. If the vacancy was inadvertently advertised through the Careers Service or on campus, please tell us immediately by ringing 0161 275 2828 so we can withdraw the advert.