Consumers are being warned of a significant increase in fake job advertisements as fraudsters attempt to exploit job seekers for financial gain.

Digital bank Revolut has sounded the alarm, highlighting that young and often inexperienced individuals are particularly susceptible to these scams.

Fraudsters employ various tactics, including posting fake job openings online or directly contacting victims through messaging apps, posing as legitimate employers or recruiters.

During the bogus application process, scammers often demand upfront payments or personal financial information under the guise of job-related expenses.

Request for fees

Common ploys include requesting fees for training, administrative costs, or necessary equipment like laptops and mobile phones. Revolut emphasised the heightened risk for those entering the job market for the first time, people struggling with the cost of living, or those seeking to re-enter the workforce.

Revolut, which boasts over two million customers in the country, revealed that its inaugural fraud report documented a 1,200 percent global increase in job scams last year. Approximately 15 percent of funds lost by the bank’s fraud victims in Ireland were due to employment scams, making it the second most common type of fraud after investment scams.

“This form of authorised fraud sees scammers post fake job openings either online or by reaching out directly to victims via messaging apps, posing as employers or recruiters. As part of the phoney application process, scammers either request money upfront or require personal financial information to defraud the victim,” Revolut said.

The bank reported that it prevented over €550 million in fraud losses last year, a 130 percent increase from 2022. Woody Malouf, Head of Financial Crime at Revolut, attributed the spike in job scams to the current economic climate, marked by high inflation and a rising cost of living.

“Given the cost of living and high inflation, the number of reported job scams has dramatically increased. Criminals prey on those seeking a legitimate way to better their income, particularly young and often inexperienced job seekers. Our customers’ security is of paramount importance to us, so please pay heed to this warning,” Malouf said.

Suspicious transactions are flagged

Revolut advised customers to heed warnings from the bank’s systems when suspicious transactions are flagged. Consumers were urged to always question offers that seem too good to be true and trust their instincts. If something feels amiss, individuals should pause and conduct thorough research. The bank recommended using secure channels, sticking to trusted websites, and platforms for transactions.

Additionally, Garda figures show that nearly €60 million has been stolen from victims of investment fraud over the past four years, making it the highest-grossing crime type in Ireland. The Banking and Payments Federation recently warned that fraudsters are now re-targeting previous victims with highly convincing recovery scams, promising to retrieve lost funds for an upfront fee. Often, the recovery scam is orchestrated by the same criminals behind the original fraud, or the victim’s information has been sold to other perpetrators.

Revolut continues to urge vigilance among consumers to protect themselves from these increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.