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Government warns of employment scams targeting vulnerable jobseekers

SCAM ALERT Source: Getty Images

According to reports, jobseekers have so far reported 65 employment scams to Consumer Affairs Victoria in 2014-15.

Victoria’s Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said today that people should be on alert for employment scams.

These scammers are targeting vulnerable people under the guise of genuine job advertisements.

According to reports, jobseekers have so far reported 65 employment scams to Consumer Affairs Victoria in 2014-15.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz says - “Falling for a bogus employment scam can be incredibly costly and demoralising for Victorians. It’s something we’re determined to stamp out.”

These scammers used a range of sneaky tactics to target people seeking work.

According to the Minister for Consumer Affairs, in one case, a Victorian company posted 46 job advertisements online in 18 months.

But this was just the front to lure applicants into their training courses and resume services worth hundreds of dollars.

Consumer Affairs Victoria investigation has found that the company had obtained approximately $59,000 in fees from nearly 300 applicants.

But this company later failed to provide either employment opportunities or training to jobseekers.

According to Consumer Affairs Victoria, the company - DNL Security Australia - and its sole director were charged with 59 offences under the Australian Consumer Law in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.

The director of DNL Security Australia was fined $26,500 and ordered to pay $1,360 in costs.

The company was also fined $32,450, reports Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Another company - Keat Enterprises - was fined $165,000 for posting job advertisements and posting “interviews,” but would then offer training courses costing up to $3000, according to Consumer Affairs Victoria.

These scams, according to the government, are an example of dodgy business operators preying on desperate and vulnerable people determined to find work.

“Targeting jobseekers is a heartless act, committed by cowardly people who prey on vulnerable Victorians determined to find jobs,” says Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz.

In many of these cases, people are being asked to provide personal information such as passport or Medicare details.

These details are usually proved after receiving the offer of employment and nor before it.

Another popular scam is work-from-home offers and costs to set up a website.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz says - “Fortunately there are some tell-tale signs: Never pay an employer for training after they’ve knocked back your application, and beware of anyone who asks for your personal information without an employment contract.”

Anyone who believes they have been targeted or have fallen for an employment scam should contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.