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Aussie jobseekers warned: 'Be wary of opportunities'

Scammers are targetting young Aussie jobseekers through recruitment scams.

A crowd of people walking on a street in Sydney to represent jobseekers.
Jobseekers have been warned to stay on the lookout for recruitment scams. (Source: Getty)

Jobseekers are being urged to watch out for scammers, with new Scamwatch figures revealing Aussies lost more than $8.7 million to recruitment scams in 2022.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch has warned young people in particular, to protect their personal information when applying for jobs and to beware of job offers made through social media platforms or messaging services like Whatsapp.

“Thousands of young Australians have finished school and graduated from university, with high hopes about their future careers and the intention to look for work in the new year. Unfortunately, they are being targeted by scammers,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

“We know younger people are particularly vulnerable, with Australians aged between 25 and 44 reporting the biggest losses to job scams. If you are job hunting and you are offered work that requires little effort for a big financial reward, it is most likely a scam. This might include repeatedly clicking a button on a website or app to purchase products or submit reviews.”

There were more than 3,194 reports of job scams made to Scamwatch in the past year, and many of the victims were lured on the promise of making money quickly.

Scammers will often ask for a payment in exchange for a guaranteed income. They pretend to be hiring on behalf of high-profile companies and online shopping platforms and impersonate well-known recruitment agencies.

“In the final months of 2022, we saw a significant uptick in reports and losses associated with recruitment scams and we are concerned these scammers will continue to ramp up their efforts as people look for work in the new year,” Rickard said.

“With many Australians looking to make the most of a highly competitive job market, we are urging jobseekers to be wary of opportunities that seem too good to be true. Never make a payment or upfront investment to secure a job. If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.”

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