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Recruitment cyber scams on the rise for 2023

Looking for a new job? You may be the prime target for scammers.

user icon Daniel Croft
Fri, 06 Jan 2023
Recruitment cyber scams on the rise for 2023
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch has announced that recruitment scams are set to rise, after Australians lost $8.7 million in 2022.

Cyber criminals message job seekers under the guise that they are from well-known recruitment agencies and request that victims pay an upfront fee to secure a high-paying role.

Bad actors have been using encrypted messaging services and social media to contact victims, promising them well-paying roles that require little effort, as long as they secure their position with an upfront fee.


They’re taking advantage of encrypted apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, where its harder for them to be detected,” added ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

The frequency of reports increased towards the end of the year, leading experts to believe that 2023 may result in a greater number of scams.

“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,” said Rickard.

Scamwatch received 3,194 reports of job scams over the period, with many of those affected having been promised fast money.

Young people in particular are being warned of scams and have been advised to be wary of job offers made on social media and messaging servers.

“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,” said Rickard.

“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.”

The ACCC advises that jobseekers use common sense to detect job opportunities that seem too good to be true, such as roles that require very little effort for massive payouts. It also says to never make upfront investments to secure a job.

Rickard says that those who believe they have been caught by a recruitment scam should contact their bank immediately, inform Scamwatch and seek help from cyber support charity IDCARE.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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