Scams, and the con artists behind them, are forever evolving and becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot.
Australian Community Media has compiled a list of current scams identified by sites such as scamwatch.gov.au, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which are dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities.
If you have been the victim of a scam report it to scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.
Australian jobseekers lost more than $8.7 million to scammers posing as recruiters in 2022 but the real number is believed to be much higher.
Employment scams noticeably increased in the last three months of the year as many people considered a career change or finished studying, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"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," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
"We know younger people are particularly vulnerable, with Australians aged between 25 and 44 reporting the biggest losses to job scams.
"If you are job hunting and you are offered work that requires little effort for a big financial reward it is most likely a scam. This might include repeatedly clicking a button on a website or app to purchase products or submit reviews."
More than 3194 reports of job scams made to Scamwatch in the past 12 months, with many of the victims were lured on the promise of making money quickly, the consumer watchdog said.
Many criminals posed as legitimate recruiters and sought out victims via social media, promising a job at a real company if they handed over money.
Scammers pretended to work for high-profile companies or online shopping platforms and contacted victims through targeted online advertisements or messaging forums.
Some schemes involved asking jobseekers to purchase large amounts of particular products through certain websites or submitting reviews.
"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. Never make a payment or upfront investment to secure a job. If you think you've been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately."
Recruitment scam red flags include having to act quickly to secure a role, being offered a job without an interview, handing over personal details like bank account numbers or being asked to transfer to a third party.
Ms Rickard asked anyone who thinks they are caught up in a recruitment scam to contact Scamwatch and said they could seek help from cyber support charity IDCARE.
Click here to learn more about what reg flags to look out for when hunting for a new job.
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