Recruitment scams and tips on how to protect your privacy

At Qudos Bank, we take great pride in educating our customers on the latest scams and fraud in order to protect them from potential harm. In recent times, scammers have become increasingly sophisticated and bold, making it challenging to detect their deceitful tactics.

It is worth noting that these scams are not limited to the elderly or the less tech-savvy, as everyone is susceptible. Therefore, we encourage our customers to remain vigilant and conduct their own independent and thorough research where possible.

In this edition of MyQ, we will cover several topics, including the surge in recruitment scams and ways to safeguard oneself against such scams. We will also discuss our Fraud, Scam, and Cyber Security webinar, which was designed to provide useful information on emerging scams and fraud and highlight the significance of protecting one's personal information. Additionally, we will provide tips on how to protect your privacy, in light of the upcoming Privacy Awareness Week in May 2023.

The Rise of Recruitment Scams

According to Scamwatch, Australians lost over $9.6 million in 20221 due to recruitment scams but the figures could be higher as these are the reported statistics. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns young people to be cautious of sharing personal information and of job advertisements shared on social media platforms and messaging channels such as WhatsApp.

Recruitment scams are often targeted at individuals between the ages of 25 and 44, promising big financial rewards with minimal effort.

Scammers often pretend to be from high-profile companies and online shopping platforms, as well as impersonating prolific recruitment agencies. They typically contact victims through email, letter, or phone, offering work that promises high returns to make money quickly.

They may also offer a job opportunity that involves using a victim’s bank account to receive and pass on payments for a company. Scammers promise that the victim will receive a commission for each payment they pass on. This is likely to be a form of money laundering in dealing with proceeds of crime, which could lead to them facing heavy penalties being that it’s a criminal offence.

False job opportunities may also be presented on social media.

For example, an article published by the ABC shares Adam’s story of how he lost $28,000 through a recruitment scam via a fake job advertisement on Facebook, where he applied and was contacted via Whatsapp by the scammer.

Scamwatch reported more than 3,383 job scams1 in 2022, with many falling prey to scammers' promises of quick financial gain.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Recruitment Scams

  1. Avoid sending money or personal information to individuals you do not know or have not met in person. Never use payment methods that are difficult to trace, such as cryptocurrency or money remit services.
  2. Refrain from agreeing to pay an upfront fee through bank transfer, PayID, or cryptocurrency, as it is more challenging to recover such funds once they are processed.
  3. Be cautious of jobs offered to you without an interview or discussion about your suitability and experience.
  4. Scammers commonly share fake jobs through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. Therefore, be vigilant when receiving such job offers, especially if they seem out of the blue.
  5. Research the recruiter and verify the legitimacy of the role offered by contacting recruitment agencies independently.
  6. If someone is pressuring you into making a quick decision, they probably want you to act without rational thinking. Keep in mind that a legitimate employer will not rush you into accepting an offer.
  7. Always question the authenticity of a job advertisement, even if it is on a reputable platform or website. Scammers can post ads on these sites. If you come across a suspicious job ad, report it immediately.

Fraud, Scam, and Cyber Security Webinar

Towards the end of 2022, we hosted a Fraud, Scam, and Cyber Security webinar featuring specialists from our Fraud and Cyber Security teams. The webinar covered emerging scams and fraud and provided useful information on protecting one's personal information following a data breach.

We also invited participants to submit questions to help us prepare the content for the webinar, and we have compiled an FAQs section. You can view the webinar and read the FAQs on our website.

Privacy Awareness Week 2023

Privacy Awareness Week is an annual event held from Monday, 1 May to Sunday, 7 May 2023. This year's theme is "Back to Basics," where the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is encouraging all Australians to go back to basics with privacy. The event is aimed at raising awareness regarding privacy issues and the importance of safeguarding one's personal information.

We encourage our customers to take advantage of this week to educate themselves on the best ways to protect their privacy and personal information as we are a supporter of this great initiative where information will be posted on OAIC’s website and QB's social media page throughout that week for tips.

7 tips on how to protect your privacy 

  1. Ensure that you read privacy policies and collection notices. If you don’t understand the organisation or agency’s privacy policy, get in touch with them to explain what it means. 
  2. Always investigate how your personal information will be used. Carefully read how your personal information is being collected and never give out your details unless you’re comfortable with it. 
  3. Check your credit report regularly. Take the time to request your credit report to see that your credit information is accurate and up to date. 
  4. Choose strong and unique passwords for your online accounts. Ensure that you change your passwords regularly and avoid using public wi-fi networks as these tend to be less secure. 
  5. Keep your mobile device secure. You may typically do your banking affairs through mobile apps, as well as accessing your social media accounts. Be sure that your mobile has a PIN to limit access from other people and only download apps from secured and verified sources. 
  6. Destruction of your personal information before throwing it out. Ensure that you shred documents and physically destroy expired banking and government-issued cards before disposal to avoid potential identity theft. Ensure that the data of your old electronic devices (mobile, tablet or computer) is all wiped before donating or throwing it away.  
  7. Be up to date with the latest scams. Keep yourself informed and be wary of scammers online, email and phone. Before you provide any of your personal information, ensure its legitimacy first. Check out our Fraud & Security hub for more detailed information on scams and fraud.   

Stay vigilant and educate yourself

In conclusion, it's important to stay vigilant against the rise of recruitment scams and to take steps to protect your personal information from fraud and cyber threats. Educating yourself on how to safeguard your privacy is also crucial in this digital age.

We hope that the tips and information provided in this edition of MyQ have been useful to you in staying safe and secure. Thank you for taking the time out to read this edition of ‘Around The Traps’. 

Learn more about how to protect yourself via our Fraud & Security Hub.

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.



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