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Job scams: How to identify and handle

Scams remain a hot topic these days. The amount of money Australians are losing to scams is at an all-time high (billions of dollars) and continues to rise at phenomenal rates. Indeed, Australians made more than 600,000 scam reports in 2023 alone, losing $2.7 billion overall (source: ACCC).

Recent scams in Australia include fake job scams. These scams target jobseekers. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they operate, so extra caution is needed. Scammers can be clever and strategic, so you need to be vigilant.

What are fake job scams all about?

Like all scammers, job scammers are experts at taking advantage of individual circumstances, including vulnerable jobseekers.

This expert article delves into fake job scams … what they are, their unique characteristics, how to spot them, and what you can do about them.

What is a job scam?

A job scam is when you’re asked to pay money to secure a high-paying job with little effort or a guaranteed opportunity to make fast money.

The scammer asks the victim to provide personal details and pay a fee to a certain account in exchange for more information about these types of roles.

The scammer promises that the jobseeker will reap large benefits.

What are the unique characteristics of job scams?


Job scam ads typically sound too good to be true (that’s because they are). They’ll therefore use words or phrases that are overly enthusiastic or optimistic like:

  • earn quick money
  • make substantial money with little effort
  • easy remote work opportunities
  • free home office equipment
  • unlimited earning potential
  • no experience needed
  • secure the job without being interviewed
  • no references required
  • immediate start date.

Sense of urgency

Scammers posing as recruiters often operate with a sense of urgency, encouraging you to be quick, or act now. They will push you to respond asap.

Visual clues

You can sometimes spot scams through visual clues. This can include:

  • obvious grammatical or spelling errors in the scam ads
  • strange design elements (design looks cheap or off-brand)
  • strange looking URLs

How could I receive a job scam?

As a jobseeker, you may receive a contact from someone claiming to be a professional recruiter. That could be by or through:

  • phone call
  • email
  • SMS
  • WhatsApp
  • social media
  • job board platform

What do I do if I receive a job scam?

Most importantly, do not do anything the scammer has asked. Therefore, do not:

  • click on any suspicious link
  • agree to have more information sent to you
  • transfer any finds
  • send your personal details.

Instead, contact the recruiter through a bona fide contact route (see face2face protocols) and ask about the scam.

Report the matter to scam officials (see ‘More information’).

face2face protocols

At face2face, we NEVER ask a jobseeker for any direct payment for information on any available position. We do not participate in any suss money-making schemes or ask jobseekers to do so. This is in line with our company’s internal code of ethics.

Also, any official communication we send is easily identifiable by email using this naming convention:

Our main email address is:

Our one and only official office phone number is 02 6199 5750.

Our official online details are:

If you ever receive any information and are worried whether it’s genuinely from us, email face2face on the address above or phone us on 02 6199 5750.

Do not action any scam communication.

More information

If you suspect you have been targeted by a recruitment (or any other) scam, report it to the:

Australian Cyber Security Centre

National Anti-Scam Centre

Scamwatch, a service of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission.

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