Young jobseekers are being warned about the potential pitfalls when seeking employment or signing up to recruitment agencies online.
Caithness Citizens Advice Bureau has teamed up with Highland Council Trading Standards to alert young people as part of Scam Awareness Month.
Glenys Brown, a trading standards officer based in Inverness, said: “Unfortunately, nationally, there has been a sharp rise in the number of online job hunting scams and the age group most likely to be targeted with fake job offers are young adults aged between 18 to 24 years.”
Recent statistics issued by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau also show people under 25 are most likely to fall victim when applying for jobs online.
Ms Brown added: “Young adults have grown up with digital media and are confident in their ability when using the internet, however, this group is now being deliberately targeted by criminals and unlike other age groups less than 50% of young people are likely to report a scam.”
Scammers may offer to carry out “fake” services for a fee, such as taking money to write CVs, which are never received or offering bespoke training, that does not exist.
Job seekers are being advised never to part with money, beware of emails from generic email addresses and to research any company’s contact details online.