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Warning of increase in scam job adverts tricking Kiwis on recruitment websites

More scam job adverts are popping up in the wake of Covid-19's crushing impact on the economy, according to New Zealand's cyber security response team.

Laptop computer (file picture). Source: istock.com

The fake advertisements lure potential employees into giving away personal information while thinking they're applying for a job, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) says.

"Employment scams are nothing new. However, it seems that cyber attackers are taking advantage of the current employment situation resulting from Covid-19," director Rob Pope says.

He says they've had as many as six reports an hour of the false adverts - a massive increase on the usual number reported to them, of one a fortnight.

After tricking people into giving away their personal information, such as by asking them to provide the necessary information for a police check, the data can be used for online fraud and other criminal activities, according to CERT.

Pope warns if a job advert seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"Looking for work can be very stressful at the best of times, and these types of scams can add additional pressure to the job seeking process," he says. 

"At first glance, it might be hard to detect if a job ad is genuine or not, but once you know what to look for you can avoid the pitfalls."

He recommends paying attention to the URL in any links, making sure they're directing to an organisation's real webpage.

He also suggests checking if the advert has been posted on other job sites, or contacting the organisation directly to check the job is real.

People can report fake recruitment scams confidentially to CERT at cert.govt.nz or by calling 0800 CERT NZ, Pope says.