Fake job offers and job scams

Information on different types of fake job offers and job scams

AdviceAdvice for safe job seeking・Fake job offers and job scams


What is meant by the word phishing?

Every internet site in the world is facing the growing issue of fraudulent usage of information, and we want to work with Job Seekers to alert this practice. Please keep reading to learn more about the warning signs and what you can do.

Spam email is such a common occurrence today that you may think you know what to look for. But there are two types of email scams – what is known as 'phishing' and 'spoofing' – that can be more difficult to identify.

Both practices concern fraudulent email where the 'from address' has been forged to make it appear as if it came from somewhere, or someone, other than the actual source.

How is 'phishing' different than 'spoofing'?

Spoof emails often include a fraudulent offer of employment and/or the invitation to serve as a go-between for payment processing or money transfers. This scam is primarily directed at a general audience, but it can also reach individuals who have included contact information on their CV. Like with phishing emails, the sender's address is often disguised.

What's 'phishing' all about - and how do I spot it?

Phishing emails are used to fraudulently obtain personal identification and account information. They can also be used to lure the recipient into downloading malicious software. The message will often suggest there are issues with the recipient's account that requires immediate attention. A link will also be provided to a spoof website where the recipient will be asked to provide personal/account information or download malicious software. A reputable organisation will never ask you to download software to access your account or use their services.

If you have seen potentially fraudulent activity, report now to keep others safe.

Money Mules

What is meant by the phrase 'Money Mule'?

A money mule is a person who transfers stolen money on behalf of others, usually through their bank account. Criminals contact people and offer them cash to receive money into their bank account and transfer it to another account. This person is known as a ‘money mule’.

Why would someone become a money mule?

Criminals often target vulnerable people who are likely to be in need of money – students are often an easy target in this approach, and sometimes they do not realise they have committed a crime.

What is the money used for?

The money that money mules transfer is usually stolen, it’s used to fund lots of different crimes, like drug dealing, sexual exploitation, frauds and scams, human trafficking and even terrorism.

How do criminals target money mules?

You might be approached by fraudsters online or in person. They might post what looks like a genuine job advert and then ask for your bank details for something such as online training or a criminal record disclosure check.

Once you become a money mule, it can be hard to stop. You could be attacked or threatened with violence if you don’t continue to let your account be used by criminals.

Do not be fooled by offers of quick cash, as criminals’ need money mules to launder the profits of their crimes.

What are the repercussions of being a money mule?

There are many repercussions that could be felt if you become a money mule. Here are some of the most common and troubling:

  • Your bank account will be closed
  • You will have problems applying for credit
  • You will find it hard to access further student loans
  • You will find it difficult to get a phone contract
  • You could go to prison for up to 14 years

What should I do if I think I am being or I have been used as a money mule?

Firstly, you should contact your local Police Force and file a report. You should then contact your Bank or Building Society to make them aware – this will then feed into the financial intelligence system, which will track any further transactions and may be used to help prevent future occurrences. Additionally, you should report it to JobsAware here.