Employment Scams Targeting Vulnerable Victorians

11 July 2016

Victorians should be on alert for employment scams being disguised as genuine job advertisements, Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said today.

Jobseekers have reported 65 employment scams to Consumer Affairs Victoria in 2014-15, after scammers used a range of sneaky tactics to target Victorians seeking work.

In one case, a Victorian company posted 46 job advertisements online in 18 months, only to lure applicants into training courses and resume services worth hundreds of dollars.

A subsequent Consumer Affairs Victoria investigation found the company had obtained approximately $59,000 in fees from nearly 300 applicants, but failed to provide either employment opportunities or training.

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 was fined $26,500 and ordered to pay $1,360 in costs. The company was fined $32,450.

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.

These scams are an example of dodgy business operators preying on desperate and vulnerable Victorians determined to find work.

In many instances, Victorians are being asked to provide personal information such as passport or Medicare details before receiving an offer of employment.

Application fees for work-from-home offers and costs to set up a website are another common trap.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Marlene Kairouz

“Targeting jobseekers is a heartless act, committed by cowardly people who prey on vulnerable Victorians determined to find jobs.”

“Falling for a bogus employment scam can be incredibly costly and demoralising for Victorians. It’s something we’re determined to stamp out.”

“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.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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