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Job hunting

Find out more about the key signs of a job scam and how to keep yourself safe

Stay safe from job scams

Unfortunately, some students have been victims of fraudulent job offers, including part-time and graduate jobs. We have compiled some advice on how to avoid job scams to help you be safe when job hunting. 

Key signs of a job scam

It can be hard to be sure whether a job you are applying for is legitimate. However, there are some key signs that you can look out for that indicate a job may be a scam.

Personal email addresses should raise red flags - for example or

  • Legitimate hiring managers will have a company or business email address!

  • You can also search LinkedIn for the recruiter. You will be able to check that the company exists, and also see whether they are a genuine contact for the company. However, you should still follow our other advice to confirm the contact/company is legitimate.

Be wary of employers who ask you to contact them on WhatsApp.  Usually a company will have information of the job role and the application process on a legitimate website.

If it’s hard for you to find a company website, or you can’t find a website at all, this is a strong indication that the job may be a scam! Check to see if the company has a website or any social media profiles, such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • You can check Google, as well as different social media sites to see whether a company has an online presence. 

  • You can also get more information on a company, for example their registered address, on the Gov.UK website.

Be wary when you see a job advertised on social media like Facebook, as it may be a fake job posted by potential scammers hoping to secure your financial information.


For example, if an opportunity is claiming that you could make £60,000 a year, £234-£457/day or if they advertise a “flexible income”, this may potentially be a scam. Be careful if:

  • The advertisement heavily focuses on the amount of money you could be making

  • If a role is offering a high salary with no experience required

Legitimate roles will inform you of the salary and benefits, but not solely focus on these. They will also outline the skills and experience required for the role. 

One minute you send off your CV, the next minute you have a job offer! This is indicative of a scam job.

  • A legitimate recruiter will take a few days, even up to a couple of weeks, to get back to you after applying for a job.

  • A formal interview should also take place before you are offered a job.

There should be a few stages that you go through before you are offered a job!


Our advice

Look out for employers who are asking you to pay anything upfront when looking/applying for jobs. Employers should never ask you for money or your bank details. This includes employers asking you to pay for training before starting work with them. Never send money to employers. 

Be careful of employers asking for your personal details. If they ask for bank details, your ID (such as a passport or driving licence) or details that you wouldn’t include on your CV before offering you a job, then this may be a scam job.


To prevent scammers from getting your personal information, follow our 4 top tips:

  1. Do your research – be sceptical when someone approaches you with a job offer and always research a potential job and its source to make sure they're genuine

  2. Use the University's online jobs board, MyCareer – the Careers and Employability Service make sure all jobs they advertise are authentic

  3. Protect your bank details – an organisation will only need your bank details once they've given you a guaranteed job offer, to make sure you get paid, so never give your bank details to someone over social media and be wary of jobs that ask for a fee or money upfront to apply

  4. Check online for reviews of the company. For example, you can google the company name and the word ‘scam’ to see if anybody has had a negative experience with the company. Websites like Glassdoor also provide reviews of companies and organisations.

Get more information

Citizens Advice has lots of information to assist you in identifying whether something is a scam, including an online tool, you can also report scams to Citizens Advice. You can find further advice if you think you have been scammed, and guidance on safe-job seeking through JobsAware.You can also report a job scam or unfair working practices through JobsAware. Hampshire Constabulary can also be contacted if you believe you have been the victim of a scam.