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Job Scams Cost Aussies Over $8 Million in 2022

Job Scams Cost Aussies Over $8 Million in 2022

By Cindy Zhan

Australian jobseekers lost more than $8.7 million (US$5.9 million) to recruitment scams in 2022, new data revealed.

As many as 3,194 recruitment scams had been reported to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Scamwatch in the past year, with many victims lured by promises of quick money, according to a Jan. 3 statement by the agency.

Scammers often pretend to be hiring on behalf of high-profile companies and online shopping platforms and impersonate well-known recruitment agencies, demanding an upfront sum of money in exchange for a “guaranteed job or income,” the ACCC said.

“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.”

The ACCC warned young people to protect their personal information when applying for jobs and to be wary of job offers via social media platforms or messaging services such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram.

“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.”

The ACCC warns the public to be vigilant if a company or recruitment agency offers a position without conducting an interview or discussing experience, suitability, and references.

The agency also advises jobseekers to conduct a quick Google search of recruitment agencies or businesses and never give out financial or personal details to strangers.

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