Thursday 18 August 2016
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column we focus on spotting a potential scam.
I’ve applied for a job at an accountancy firm, but they’ve emailed to say that I would need to take a three month training course which costs £4,000 first. I’m keen on the job, but should I pay for the training?
Some employers do ask you to pay for training, but will normally take the cost from your wages rather than asking you to pay in advance.
Asking for up-front payments is one of the classic signs of a scam, so it’s important you do some research on the firm before parting with any cash.
Start by checking if they have a website. If there isn’t a website, they are unlikely to be legitimate. Pay close attention to their email address too. Look to see if they are using a personal email account such as Gmail or Hotmail, rather than one that’s branded.
Next, check how they describe their company – if they say ‘Ltd’ or’ Plc’ they should be listed on the Companies House website – www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house If you can’t find them there, they probably aren’t real.
You can also look the firm up on the internet to see what people are writing about it. People who suspect a scam or have been scammed, will often post on forums or on social media. Genuine companies will usually have client reviews outside of just their own website.
If you spot something that doesn’t feel right and you want a second opinion, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06. If you think it might be a scam report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on problems with mobile phone bills.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Adviceguide website at www.adviceguide.org.uk