Id Theft

  • As many as 80% of jobs on some sites could be fraudulent.
  • Financial fraud, identity theft and even kidnap motive for criminal jobs posters.
  • Universal Jobmatch problems no surprise to leading international recruitment experts.


Over the last few weeks, the Government’s Universal Jobmatch website has come under fire from politicians, investigative reporters and, perhaps most importantly, its users. The website, which must be used by those claiming out-of-work benefits, has been described as ‘bedevilled with fraud’ by Labour MP Frank Field and it looks increasingly likely that it may be forced to close

The level of fictitious jobs, endless agency re-listings and, especially, fraudulent postings has come as no surprise to one of the founders of leading international job search website XPat Jobs, who have seen every trick in the book when it comes to dodgy jobs listings. Identity theft, fraud and even kidnap have been the motives of the scamming jobs posters that director Jonty Rose has managed to stop from using his website as a front for crime. The business’s vetting procedures ensure that is not beset by the same problems as Universal Jobmatch, which had to remove 120,000 dubious jobs this month.

The attempts we get are mainly from fake logistics companies fraudulently using a genuine PayPal account to pay for the job posting,” says Rose. “As time went on the fraudsters would make more and more realistic fake websites and back stories to applicants, even copying the real companies but using slightly miss-spelt domain names or strange extensions. It’s fairly easy for us to spot them as we are internet people, but they work on the same principle as a spammer. Do enough and you’ll always trick a percentage of people. The thing about the Universal job search site is that you can just sign up and post for free. It doesn’t surprise me at all that that has been abused.”

Rose’s fellow director, Rhys Maddocks believes that XPat Jobs’ security measures mean that their website’s users are safe from the fraudsters that operate on many other recruitment websites, including Universal Jobmatch.

We no longer accept PayPal, as as much as four-fifths of the jobs being paid for that way were fraudulent,” says Maddocks. “This means that some websites may be made up of as much as 80% fraudulent job postings, which is quite incredible. We also only accept oil, gas, logistics and hotel jobs from well-known suppliers, as these are historically the jobs where scammers operate.”

XPat Jobs are keen to make sure that, despite the plethora of fake jobs out there, jobseekers do not get conned. To this end, they have come up with a checklist of signals that the job you are applying for may be a scam.

It is not rocket science,” says Jonty Rose. “But there are so many jobs around on large sites that do not check their listings.”

 XPat Jobs scam jobs checklist:

  • Look out for jobs that charge you to apply or ask you for payment for a visa, travel or accommodation, as these are usually scams.
  • Be wary of any job ad that asks for your bank details. These may be relevant once you have taken a job, but they are not something that you should give out upon application.
  • Check that any websites you are using or that are listed in a job ad are actually the official one of the company supposedly listing the job. Fake websites are a classic way for scammers to make their ads look official.
  • Look out for poor English (or any other language), bad spelling and email addresses or odd domain extensions that are not official company ones.
  • Beware of any prospective employer who becomes aggressive or short when asked questions about the job or the application process.
  • Always be very careful when applying for jobs on sites that are free to list on and that do not carry out email and identity checks on employers.
  • If in doubt, then always ring via the official company switchboard number on their website and ask to speak to the named recruiter who you are dealing with.



Photo credit: Christopher Ellison.