Experts have issued a fresh warning to recent graduates not be taken on a “financial ride” by scammers advertising fake graduate jobs.
Reports have stated that fake companies are being set up with the promise of employment and a high starting salary but with one catch ... send money beforehand.
With a starting salary of £26,000 and the promise of more, these jobs are often too good to be true.
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“Unsolicited emails offering highly-paid work, with great promotion prospects and requiring neither experience nor particular skills are common. But they are phoney,” says Harry Rose editor of ‘Which? Money’ magazine.
“One of the most insidious things about scammers is how calculated they are in picking their targets. They target older, less tech-savvy people with online scams in attempts to get their bank details but they know that younger people are more likely to see through this scam, so they use a different approach,” Harry warns.
“A related scam, aimed at all ages, involves fraudsters offering high salaries for easy or part-time jobs – which don’t exist,” Harry says. “These are ‘advance-fee frauds’ — similar to letters from deposed dictators or ‘notification of winnings’ from ‘unknown lotteries’.”
One graduate, Alice*,, contacted Which? About her experience of the scam. After graduating from university, Alice* received an email about a job offer offering her a starting salary of £26,000 for a graduate job.
“The offer did not name a company that I had heard of, nor did it mention where this work would be,” Alice says.
“The job promise was dependent on me sending money for ‘help with my CV’ and ‘training for an interview’. I kept asking what industry the career is in and where I would have to work, but I didn’t get any answers,” she says.
Alice was also not the only one targeted, “one of my fellow students said she had exactly the same offer.”
Graduate roles can be found in banking and finance, engineering, media, law or the third sector.
“Legitimate employers simply don’t behave like this,” Harry says. “With millions of young people competing for entry-level jobs, why would they need to?”
Larger companies receive thousands of applications for graduate roles. They offer the opportunity to train and develop in their chosen field on an average starting salary of £21,000.
“Getting a job when you’ve left university is a daunting task,” Harry adds. “It’s not surprising that recent graduates and others looking for a job risk being taken for a financial ride.”