Job scams accelerate in January

January reporting of job scams is already 66% ahead of December 2022’s total, sparking worries this rise could exacerbate recruitment struggles and stress-test hiring processes.

Data from job scams advice body Jobs Aware also suggests the start of the year can be costly for those caught by job scams.

2022 figures show that 10% of losses across the whole year were from the first month alone.

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Scams include the WhatsApp messages offering jobs paying almost £100 per hour and Facebook posts offering out-of-the-blue employment. 

Terry Payne, global managing director of recruitment agency Aspire, said employers need to be aware of how scams can hit their hiring chances especially as historically high vacancy levels still indicate a difficult hiring landscape.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Fake job adverts dilute the impact that real adverts have, causing huge headaches for legitimate employers in dire need of staff.”

To counteract the risks Payne recommended that businesses work with trustworthy recruiters. 

For candidates he suggested assessing whether the recruiter is real and use their industry knowledge to spot copy-and-paste fake adverts.

As many scammers are desperate to get candidate data, the risk of job scams is widespread and a trend employers need to take seriously, Payne added.

His comments align with 2021 Jobs Aware data which found 74% of candidates believe they have been duped by a scam at some point during their job search history

Keith Rosser, director of Reed Screening, explained that while this means candidates should be aware of the hallmarks of job scams, including generic jobs, too-quick hiring processes, and WhatsApp offers, businesses also have a role in combating this rising trend.

Rosser told HR magazine: “Warning signs can include applicants contacting you out of the blue about a job you aren’t advertising.“

As such, businesses can publish advice and/or warnings online to candidates about scams and if you notice a scam report the use of your company name to Action Fraud and Jobs Aware who will remove fake adverts from job boards.

“Businesses should also respond quickly to candidates who could be in difficulties."