A recent ACCC media release warns young people in particular, to protect their personal information when applying for jobs and to beware of job offers made through social media platforms. This warning coincides with a recent spate of recruitment scams, advertising fake jobs on popular recruitment websites, including using Bell Financial Group’s brands (such as Bell Potter or Bell Direct) and reputation to lure job seekers in.
How the scam works
The scammer advertises a fake job on a social media platform or recruitment website, often posing as a known brand, such as Bell Potter or Bell Direct.
Applicants follow the normal application process of providing contact information after which the scammer contacts the applicant by chat such as Skype, email, letter, or phone to begin the interview process.
The applicant is then told they were successful and offered a fake contract of employment along with employment documents capturing personally identifiable information. Information collected includes full name, date of birth, primary identity documents, and banking details.
At this stage, the scammer has achieved their first objective, which is to gather personally identifiable information to either onsell to other scam groups or engage in further phishing or money laundering campaigns using the victim’s information.
As an example, scammers have been known to continue with the employment ruse by attempting to pass money through the victim’s account on to foreign companies under the guise of a training exercise. This is likely to be a form of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
How to spot a job or employment scam
- You come across an advertisement or receive an email, letter, or phone call offering a job.
- The content of the offer and employment contract may contain poor grammar or spelling mistakes.
- The contact link or correspondence links may be similar but don’t match the domain of the legitimate website.
- You are asked to perform all interviews over a video conferencing platform prior to receiving an offer. We will always conduct a face-to-face interview, prior to making an offer.
- The message does not have a street address, only a post office box or an email address.
- You are asked to transfer money on behalf of someone else, which may be money laundering and a criminal offence.
Remember, if you provide your account details and identity information, the scammer may use them to steal your money or commit other fraudulent activities.
Please refer to ACCC Scamwatch for further advice and descriptions of other forms of recruitment scams.
How to protect yourself
- Always perform an independent search for the brand website, indicated in the advertised job. Never click out to the website from a link on the advertised job.
- Expect a face-to-face interview step within the interview process.
- If in doubt, use one of its contact methods on the brand website, located through an independent search, to enquire about the legitimacy of the advertised job.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited job opportunities or offers.
- Never provide personal information, other than your name and preferred contact method during the interview process.
- Do not deal with anyone representing Bell Financial Group (e.g. Bell Potter or Bell Direct) without contacting us independently to verify that the job vacancy exists and the contact details for the job application.
- Never agree to transfer money for a ‘potential employer’ under any circumstances.
Bell Financial Group will never ask a candidate for any form of direct payment and all email correspondence will be sent from our official domains e.g. “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”
We will always include a face-to-face interview step in our interview process.
If you suspect you have been targeted by a recruitment scam, please contact ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Centre) or ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) in Australia.
If you are in Australia and have exchanged any personal information with a suspected scammer, please report this immediately to the ACSC.
For tips about online safety and security and an Australian Government directory for where to get help see the “Be safe Be alert” online quick reference guide.