Signs Your Dream Job Is Actually a Scam

Unfortunately, some jobs are too good to be true. We’re sure you’ve seen those job adverts that promise to pay a whole lot for very little work. We hate to break it to you, but more often than not, these jobs are scams.

We know, we know. It would be amazing if we could earn £200 per hour to just watch Netflix and eat pizza – we’re disappointed as well! If you want to ensure you don’t experience this kind of soul-crushing disappointment, then you had better take some of the following points to heart.

1. Contact from a non-company email address

The first red flag would be any correspondence that comes from a non-company email address. You might expect your grandma to be on Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail, but certainly not a recruiter or hiring manager. They should always contact you from a reputable domain, and if they don’t, then you can safely assume they’re probably not who they say they are.

2. Instant job offer

As wonderful as you are, no employer will hire you on the spot (and if they do, they should really rethink their hiring process). Even if you’re a star candidate with a really strong CV and cover letter, they’ll want to interview you first, not to mention check your references. It doesn’t matter how spontaneous a hiring manager is, they’ll want to get to know you and research your background beforehand.

3. No interview

Going on from the above, if there’s no interview, there’s probably no job. No employer worth their salt will hire you after only an email exchange. A job offer after a phone call is marginally better, but still a bit suspicious, as a phone interview is generally the first stage in the interview process, and there should usually be a follow-up interview in person.

4. A request for personal information

When you start a new job, you normally have to provide the employer with your national insurance number, bank details and so on. However no one should ask for this information upfront; it’s only once you’ve been hired that they’ll request these details from you. If you find they’re pressing you for sensitive information, or even going so far to ask for your credit card number, it’s best that you run for the hills.

5. Requests for money

The job is almost definitely a scam if they’re asking you for money. They might pretend it’s for travel expenses, visa fees, or training, but no matter the reason, it’s very unlikely a real employer would ask this of you. You should also never have to cash a cheque and forward money to a third party so that they can “verify your debit account”. Most likely the cheque will bounce, and you won’t be able to get back the amount you forwarded.

6. Poorly written job advert

If the job advert is taking way too many liberties with the English language, then you had best take heed. Most scammers are international, and will write the advert in their native language before running it through Google translate. Also, if they’re not a real hiring manager or recruiter, they might have no idea how to write a proper advert, and will fail to hit any of the key points that most people are looking for.


At the end of the day, it’s best to err on the side of caution, and to be wary of any type of job that makes grandiose claims, allowing you huge benefits and flexible hours, while requiring no experience whatsoever.

To stay safe in your job search we recommend that you visit SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation working to combat job scams. Visit for information on common scams and to get free, expert advice for a safer job search.