Article posted byon Jun 22, 2023
We want to alert our candidates to a current scam that preys on job seekers. Primarily on WhatsApp, this scam involves individual or business accounts pretending to be one of Cobalt’s team of consultants contacting candidates with potential job opportunities or offers to extract personal information or ask for payment.
This scam is widespread and affecting thousands of recruiters worldwide and unfortunately now including Cobalt. It is not as a result of any breach of our system and seems to be very randomly targeting people far beyond our natural network. We do not know how the scammers have got hold of your contact details, but they aren’t on any of our systems.
The scams can take many forms, primarily on WhatsApp, but will start with an unsolicited approach. Some are more convincing by mimicking our logo and layout such as the example here, others are less sophisticated just using a consultant’s name, but have similar content.
How can I know if it’s genuine?
Primarily, our team would never reach out to you using WhatsApp initially – we would only ever use it if we are already in contact with you and you have requested contact via that method.
At Cobalt specifically, we work exclusively in the real estate and construction recruitment sectors. If you don't work in these areas, then it’s unlikely we'll be talking to you about vacancies. You can see the type of roles we recruit for here, which are typically permanent or interim, but not commission or task-based roles like those usually offered in the WhatsApp scams.
We NEVER charge job-seekers for our services, whether that’s to register with us, conduct background checks or when we secure you a role, so if you are being asked for payment, that is definitely not us!
And more generally, when spotting these or similar fraudulent messages, they could be suspect if:
They’re a message that you weren't expecting
They come from a number or email address you don't recognise
They contain a link (please avoid clicking it if there is)
The job offer seems too good to be true
They are asking for money or personal details, such as your CV
The message is poorly written and contains spelling errors
Reporting fake job offers
Firstly, thank you to everyone who has already alerted us to these communications coming through to them. If you have received one, do not engage with the communications – just block the sender, report as below and delete the message.
If you remain suspicious of a job offer, please report it to email@example.com. We will contact you if it is a legitimate approach by one of our team.
In the UK, there is a free service provided by phone operators where you can report such fake job offers. Text messages and mobile communications can be reported to 7726 while scam emails can be reported by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can also report it to Action Fraud, who can investigate it further and even trace the number.
For specific job scams, you can additionally report them to Jobsaware here and select “Scam or fake job advert”
The Cobalt Recruitment Team.