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Identifying fake or scam jobs

Occasionally some jobs are advertised without a genuine vacancy. They aim to gain your personal or financial information to use for fraud.

Tips for identifying fake or scam jobs

Here are some guidelines that will help you identify fake or scam jobs.

Check the advert

Fake or scam job adverts may look and sound unprofessional. Look out for:

  • poor spelling and grammar
  • no job description, or a vague or badly written job description
  • contact details that don’t match up with the company name, eg. a Hotmail or Gmail email address

If you’ve received an email about a job that you haven’t applied for it could be a scam.

The employer

Take the following steps to make sure the employer is genuine:

  • use the company website to find a landline number. Give them a call to see if the vacancy is genuine and the person listed as the contact works there
  • use LinkedIn to search for the person listed as the contact
  • check that the company is registered with Companies House
  • for companies in the financial sector, check the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • look for company reviews on websites such as Glassdoor


Check whether the pay is realistic for the job you are being asked to do – the pay offer might be unusually high. Use the resources below to find average salaries for job roles:

The application process

Check with the employer what the recruitment process involves:

  • a genuine job should include an interview
  • you shouldn’t need to make a payment to secure the job


If you have already started work, you may be concerned about some of your duties. These are some things to look out for:

  • being asked to pay for none work items on behalf of your employer. If you have to pay for some expenses such as train tickets for a company trip, your employer should have a process for you to claim this money back
  • duties that are very different to the description in the job advert

More help

JobsAware is a not-for-profit organisation that offers information and advice to help prevent job scams.

If you have concerns about a job, please book an appointment at the Careers Service for advice.