How To Avoid WhatsApp Job Scams

In the dynamic and often unpredictable job market, a new threat has emerged that targets job seekers: WhatsApp job offer scams.

Understanding a WhatsApp Job Scams

In this article, we look at how to identify and avoid the WhatsApp job scams for your job search safety.

Job offers through Whats App have become a significant global concern, impacting many recruitment agencies in the UK and beyond. Type ‘WhatsApp job scams’ in your search browser and you will see several articles on this topic made recently.

These scams are characterised by unsolicited job offers via WhatsApp, promising lucrative opportunities.

The underlying purpose of the offer is to entice users with the promise of making money through simple activities like watching videos, liking posts, or placing orders. However, the catch is that these scams limit the number of tasks you can do without requiring you to upgrade your account. To upgrade your account, you have to pay in money which results in a “pay in money to make money” scheme.

Job Search Safety. Here is someone enquiring more about a job over the phone

Signs of a WhatsApp Scam

Surprisingly, Euronews Next’s investigation into this issue, published on October 23, 2023, offers a sobering glimpse into the scale and sophistication of these scams. “Marc Bonvin’s experience last year is a prime example, where he received a seemingly legitimate job offer from a sender impersonating “Adecco Ltd.,” only to find it involved payment through an encrypted wallet.”

The scam, which AI cybersecurity firm CloudSEK estimates has extracted €100 million globally, involves impersonating well-known recruitment firms and offering lucrative jobs with payment. According to Keith Rosser of JobsAware, “about 50 such complaints are received daily in the UK, indicating a much larger scale of affected individuals”. These scams typically offer flexible working hours and high pay for tasks, with communication conducted through WhatsApp using various women’s names.

Job scams are more than just a nuisance; they can lead to serious consequences, including identity theft, financial loss, and emotional distress. In an already challenging job market, these scams add an extra layer of difficulty for genuine job seekers so it’s crucial to recognise these scams early to protect yourself from potential harm.

Identifying Fake Job Offers. Here is an image of a person in the dark with the words "scam" overlayed

Protecting Against Job Scams

With this in mind, read our tips for how to identify and avoid job scams for your job search safety:

  • Beware of job offers from unknown contacts or unsolicited messages. Legitimate recruiters won’t request sensitive personal information through WhatsApp.So if you come across this, verify the sender’s credentials and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
  • Be cautious of offers that seem too good to be true, such as high salaries for minimal work or vague job descriptions.
  • Scammers may use pressure tactics for quick responses.
  • Professional messages of any form usually don’t have grammatical errors or typos.

Our Partnership with JobsAware

With this in mind, at Signature Recruitment, our commitment to the safety of our candidates is paramount. All our communications are conducted through professional and secure channels. All our jobs are advertised on our website and we do not ask for sensitive information like bank details, passports, or driving licence data during the application process. 

To support efforts to eliminate job scams and labour market abuses we have partnered with Jobs Aware. Jobs Aware evolved from the Metropolitan Police fraud forum back in 2008 and provide free help and advice to anyone who thinks they might have been the victim of a job scam or unfair working practices. They also work with UK Government, labour market enforcement agencies and other partners to help workers resolve issues.

WhatsApp Scam Prevention. This is a picture of a women looking shocked at her payment details in front of a laptop.

Action Against Scams: Reporting and Prevention

We encourage everyone to share this information to raise awareness of these scams. Staying informed and alert is the optimal protection against such fraudulent activities. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious WhatsApp messages to Jobs Aware. They offer a wealth of information on safe job searching and provide a platform for reporting any suspicious activities. We also recommend deleting and blocking any number that has contacted you.

If you find yourself a victim of a scam, fraud, or any form of online crime, it’s crucial to report it immediately. Action Fraud are the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland acting on behalf of the police. They offer a dedicated platform for reporting online crime or you can contact them at 0300 123 2040, available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.

Safe Employment Search

As we continue to navigate the complexities of the digital job market, awareness and caution are our best defense against scams.

Summing up, we encourage our audience to stay informed and to reach out to the appropriate channels for guidance and support. Remember, if you encounter any suspicious job offers or recruitment practices, don’t hesitate to report them. Together, we can create a safer job search environment for everyone.

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