How to Avoid Misleading Ads and Scams

Unfortunately, not all employers or companies do the right thing by their workers. Sometimes there are employers who are looking to take advantage of people or job offers that are misleading and it is important to be informed and aware to avoid getting caught up in an unfair situation. Remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

Misleading Offers

Some job ads may be unintentionally misleading but others may be deliberately written to conceal the true nature of a job or even invent a job that doesn’t exist so it is important to do your research. Credibility of an ad can often be determined by how detailed they are. Ads that leave key information (E.g. company name and contact information, job title, qualifications or training required or payment method) are either poorly written or intentionally deceptive.

However, just because the ad is missing some details doesn’t mean that the company is deliberately trying to mislead you. Call the contact number provided and ask a few questions to determine employment status (e.g. full-time, casual), what is involved with the job, where the company is situated and salary details.


Job scams often target young people, unemployed people and international students or visitors, but they can affect anyone. Most people who are taken advantage of are naïve and desperate for work.
The most important thing is to be careful and do you research. Common features of a scam are “get rich quick” schemes, insisting on unpaid trial work or asking for your money up front.

Ultimately, if you feel a job is too risky, don’t apply for it. Misleading ads or scams should be reported to the Consumer Affairs Victoria, JobWatch and the newspapers or website that published the ad.

Consumer Affairs Victoria
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission- SCAMwatch