The ACCC has issued a warning for Australian people to beware of recruitment scams, after Scamwatch received 3,194 reports of such scams in 2022.

Scamwatch revealed that these scams cost Australians more than $8.7 million last year.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the large volume of scams is expected to continue into 2023.

"“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,” Ms 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."

Ms Rickard also said that scammers have been increasingly targeting young people new to the workforce.

"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.

"We know younger people are particularly vulnerable, with Australians aged between 25 and 44 reporting the biggest losses to job scams."

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Spotting a scam

A recruitment scammer typically poses as a recruiter or representative from a company, offering a fictional job or passive income with a lucrative salary.

They may also ask for an upfront payment, or personal details they can use to steal money.

The ACCC issued several following warning signs that might indicate you are being scammed.

  • Any arrangement that asks for up front payment via bank transfer, PayID or cryptocurrency.
  • Job roles that are offered without interview, discussion or referee checks.
  • Recruiters who contact via encrypted messenger platforms like WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram. These are commonly used by scammers.
  • A purported job offer pressing you to act quickly. It is very rare that a legitimate job offer would need an immediate response. 
  • Someone you don't know asking for your personal information, bank or credit card details.

Ms Rickard said that the ACCC is 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," she said.

"If you think you've been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately."


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