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Protect yourself from job scams

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a genuine job listing and a job scam, but there are steps you can take to check if it’s legitimate.

Why it matters 

Scammers target those looking for employment and lure them with fake opportunities. Their end goal is to get their hands on your money and sensitive information.   

With scammers now being able to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create listings, write offer letters and even create fake company logos, fraudulent job advertisements can look very convincing.  

The risks 

If scammers have your personal information, they can use it to carry out online fraud and identity theft. This can result in financial loss or negatively impact your credit rating.

They may also ask you for money directly, claiming expenses such as travel and accommodation for an interview. If you send a scammer money, it can be hard to recover.  

How to protect yourself

  • Verify the domain and URL of the “employer” or “recruiter”

    Scammers often create fake websites with a similar to that of a real company. If in doubt, verify the actual company’s webpage and navigate to the job listing from there. 

    Check that the recruiter’s email matches the company’s name. As with URLs, some scam emails may look like they have come from a real company, such as or, when the real company’s email is 

  • Research the company online

    Most companies, as well as recruiters, will have online accounts on professional job sites such as LinkedIn. You can message/email relevant people in the company to verify that the ad and offer are genuine. 

  • Watch out for these red flags

    If you spot any of the following with a job listing, immediately end contact with the 'employer'. 

    • The job listing is only on a single board. Most recruitment agencies and organisations post their vacancies to several job boards to reach as many people as possible.
    • Communication moves quickly to an instant messenger service. While it’s becoming more common for job interviews to take place over the phone or via video calls, you should be wary if your first interview is on an instant messenger service.
    • The employer contacts you out of the blue or offers an interview or a job straight away. 
      The potential employer wants your personal information or bank account details early in the recruitment process. A genuine employer won’t need your bank account details until you have accepted a job.
    • The benefits and remuneration offered are very high for the role and the job does not require relevant experience or qualifications. The Tertiary Education Commission’s website has a salary guide for different roles based on experience and qualifications. Salary guide

Get help 

If you realise you have been scammed or if you suspect the employer or recruiter who has contacted you is a scammer, you can take the following first steps. 

  • Cut all contact with the scammer.
  • If you have transferred money to someone and believe it’s a scam, contact your bank immediately. 

Report to CERT NZ for advice and guidance on spotting and dealing with a job scam.  
Report to CERT NZ

Get help