COVID-19 coronavirus update

There are reports of scammers targeting Australians with COVID-19 related scams. We recommend you read this Stay Smart Online article to see examples of emails and SMSs currently being used by scammers. Keep reading for our advice to protect yourself when applying for jobs.

When you're looking for work you need to know how to recognise a fake job ad scam when you see one.

If you do apply for a fake job, at best, it is a massive waste of time. At worst, you could have your money and your identity stolen.

10 tips to avoid a fake job ad scam

  1. Don't put your date of birth or address on your resume or cover letter. This is identifying information that employers don't need to know at the application stage of a job. Protect your privacy and leave it out.
  2. Don't give your photo ID to anyone during the application process. Wait until you know you have the job and only include it with your official paperwork.
  3. Don't give your bank account details to anyone until you know you have the job. You should never have to give this information to an employer as part of the application process. 
  4. Don't give out your tax file number. Once you get the job you will need to give it to your employer so they can set you up in their payroll system. But don't tell anyone what it is until then, and avoid disclosing it anywhere except official tax office and payroll forms.
  5. Don't let anybody deposit money into your bank account UNLESS it is your pay or salary. If someone asks you to hold a large sum of money in your account and says you can keep some of it, it is probably money laundering. It's illegal and you could get into a lot of trouble if you don't report it to your local police.
  6. Don't pay money to apply for a job. If a potential employer tells you to do this, it is a fake job ad scam and you should report it. This also includes recruiters. They get paid by employers to find staff. Job seekers do not pay recruiters for their services.
  7. Don't fall for a pyramid scheme. Avoid jobs that require you to pay money to join, buy and re-sell products or recruit other people to earn money.
  8. Be wary of work from home opportunities, especially if they offer you a guaranteed income or they ask you for an upfront fee.
  9. Do your research. If someone approaches you directly about a job, do your research about the business. Look up their street address on Google maps to see if it really exists. Phone them to find out more information about the job and speak to a real person. Visit their website to see if it is legitimate site.
  10. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you get offered a job that requires little effort for a lot of money, alarm bells should go off.
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What to do if you find a fake job ad

Use the Report this job feature to let us know if you find a fake job ad scam

If you find a fake job ad scam on the jobactive website, or think something looks suss, you can let us know. At the bottom of every job ad there is a blue box with some information about how to protect yourself. Click Report this job if you want us to look into an ad or employer. Other job boards like Seek have the same kind of thing at the bottom of their ads too.

You can also report it to Scamwatch. If you are ever concerned that you might have been scammed or defrauded you should also report it to your local police.

Images: iStock, giphy