The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have announced an increasing amount of online scams, whereby fraudsters are targeting and contacting students and graduate job seekers via recruitment websites to obtain their bank details and personal information.
Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take when job hunting to safeguard yourself against potential online fraud. Here are some online fraud protection tips.
5 Tips to detect online fraud
1. Check for poor spelling and grammar
Check any emails you receive from recruiters or prospective employers for poor spelling and grammar. There may also be inconsistent branding or logos that are often a sign of fraudulent activity. If you have any doubts, check the company website in a separate browser – it’s important not to click on any web links they’ve sent to you until you’ve verified that the email is legitimate.
2. Does the email address look right?
Despite the rollout of the General Data Protection Regulations, which effectively tightened the rules around how businesses and organisations can contact consumers for marketing purposes, there are still a lot of email scams floating about that you should be careful to avoid.
But how do you spot if it’s a phishing email or spam?
Have you ever received an email and thought, is this a real email address? Check the email address that the request has been sent from – an email address from a personal account, or one that doesn’t bear any resemblance to the domain name of the company, could be a sign of online fraud.
It’s important to check for spam email addresses as well – if it looks a bit unusual, this can also be a strong indication that something is wrong. But how can you spot a phishing email and spam?
If you’ve received a strange email that you think could be spam, then it’s best not to click on anything until you’ve verified the source. Instead, try hovering over any links on the email and avoid clicking any that don’t look legitimate.
3. Check the information they give you
Have you received an email requesting information? It’s important to think twice before giving any information away, as this could be a case of online fraud.
For example, if the recruiter asks for a sum of money to pay for a visa, speak to the representative embassy of the country you’re hoping to visit to check that the information you’ve been given is accurate. They might also ask for money to secure rental properties, so check with a local letting agent that this is legitimate before providing any funds.
4. Do your research
Wondering how to find out if an email address is spam? Start by simply Googling the name of the company that has emailed you.
Carry out thorough research on the prospective employer to check that the job (and the company) actually exists. If the website doesn’t feel authentic, or there’s no sign of any actual business activity, chances are it may not be a real company.
5. Report it
If you think that your personal information or bank details might have been compromised, it’s critical that you report it as soon as possible. If you’re wondering, “how do I report online fraud?” you’ll need to report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.
Hopefully, you’re now feeling a little more confident that you’ll be able to protect yourself from online fraud should you need to. Find out more about how you can make the most of your student life by visiting our blog, which is full of helpful tips and advice.