How to spot a fake AI job ad and avoid recruitment fraud

How to spot a fake AI job ad and avoid recruitment fraud

BY Rob Phelps

5th Mar 2024 Technology

3 min read

With the rise of fake AI job ads and scam threats, here's how to spot them and not fall victim to recruitment fraud
The rise of AI is means that new scam threats are emerging all the time, and according to Google trend data, searches for “fake job ad” have risen by 100 per cent in the last month, with scammers preying on people looking for work to gather their personal information for their own gain.
"Scammers prey on people looking for work to gather their personal information for their own gain"
These fake job listings and phony recruiters attract unsuspecting jobseekers with promises of high salaries and flexible hours, but lead to nothing but wasted time, disappointment and financial loss—and as AI technology advances, it gets harder and harder to spot a fake from the real thing.

Netzen IT expert Rob Phelps and the experts at AI Jobs reveal the red flags to watch out for and how to avoid them, so you don't become a victim of recruitment fraud.

How can they scam me? 

Man using his card on phone, falling for a fake AI job ad scam
Scammers can use your personal information for a variety of dodgy reasons, from stealing your identity to stealing your money.
Some may even go as far as conducting fake interviews to make the scam seem more legitimate and gain your trust further, and persuade you to hand over bank details for payroll or background checks—but as soon as you give the information they need, they vanish without a trace.

Red flags to watch out for

1. Too good to be true 
Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fake job listings often offer huge salaries, perks, and responsibilities, but don’t require any qualifications and previous experience. A starting salary that is above the average, especially for someone with zero experience, is not likely to be legitimate.
2. Badly written ads 
Keep an eye out for job listings and offers that are badly written. AI is advancing very quickly, but sometimes nonsensical sentences and weird phrasing can creep in, that can be a sure sign that it wasn’t written by a real person. 
3. Vague and evasive 
Fake job ads often feature a very vague job description that could apply to a wide range of industries to get as many people interested as possible.
Real recruiters will know everything about the job you’re enquiring about, from responsibilities to annual leave, even if they’re not able to reveal the name of the company—but if they avoid your questions, or seem to not know the answers, be wary.
4. Unusual email address or website 
Are they contacting via free email address like Gmail, rather than a company domain? Have you received a text or WhatsApp out of the blue? Have they sent you a link to a site to get more information about the role?
"Check the email address and website carefully; scammers might change one digit from a legitimate company address"
Check the spelling of the email address and website; scammers might have copied the format of legitimate company addresses but changed just one digit, so the fakes are very easy to miss if you don’t look closely enough.
5. Asking for money 
Asking for money is always the biggest red flag. Real employers won’t be asking you to pay upfront for training or equipment, especially not during the hiring process!  
6. Pressure 
Scammers will often try and rush you into making decisions without thinking. If the recruiter is rushing through the hiring process, skipping interviews, and pressuring you to send over personal information that isn’t on your CV—take a moment to pause and think about whether this is real.

How to avoid fake job scams 

Man on a laptop
1. Ask a lot of questions
Whether you’ve been approached by a recruiter, or you’re responding to an ad you’ve seen online, make sure you ask as many questions as possible. Legitimate recruiters will be more than happy to confirm details and answer questions, because they want to hire someone, not steal their money!
2. Search "+ scam" 
Look at the company’s website, social media, blog, LinkedIn connections—anything you can find. If it’s full of inconsistencies, or looks like it was all made very recently, or in a hurry, be cautious.
"Type the name of the company or recruiter into Google plus words like 'scam' or 'fake'"
Type the name of the company or recruiter into Google plus words like "scam" or "fake", to see if anyone else has had similar experiences with them.
4. Check and double check
Check the company’s career page to make sure the job is advertised on there, and contact them directly to verify any offers you’ve been made—if the offer is real, the employer won’t mind confirming it.
5. Make sure it's secure 
If the recruiter asks you to fill in a form with your details, double check that the site is secure—and search for the site yourself, rather than clicking on links they’ve sent you. A secure website will begin with "https" instead of just "http"; never enter personal information on a site without that important S!
6. Trust your gut 
If it feels dodgy, don’t do it. Don’t hesitate to walk away if there are too many red flags and it doesn’t feel right. You’ll find something else—something legitimate—in no time, and you won’t have risked losing everything to a fraud.

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