employment 4 students - The UK's most visited student jobsite


Job Scams Back In The News With Fake Harrods Ads On Gumtree

24 Sep 2013

Job Scams Back In The News With Fake Harrods Ads On Gumtree

Job scams are unfortunately back in the news with a trial now underway at the Old Bailey...

The case revolves around hundreds of fake Harrods ads which were posted to the Gumtree website in the summer of 2010.

The fictitious jobs were allegedly posted by a team of six South London fraudsters working together in an effort to hack the computers of genuine job seekers for the sham positions at Harrods - the upmarket store in Knightsbridge, London.

The Old Bailey has heard that the gang allegedly hauled in over £1 million by inserting a Trojan bug into ‘Harrods’ application packs that job seekers downloaded over the internet. Some of the ‘applicants’ are said to have had over £4,500 subsequently swiped from their bank accounts once their login details had been stolen by the phishing scam.

Speaking in court, prosecutor Walton Hornsby said: “In August and early September 2010 a number of adverts appeared on Gumtree advertising various jobs at Harrods, a rather attractive post you may think. Although a number of persons had doubts about downloading an application pack, many did so. Almost immediately there started to appear to be problems with their computers.”

Director of security at Harrods, Gregory Faulkener, was alerted to the scam when a number of job seekers who had downloaded the application pack sent emails to the department store complaining of infected computers.

Mr Faulkener went through the application process for the fake Harrods jobs himself, quarantining the downloaded virus. He later sought advice from phishing specialists in the United States and subsequently called in Scotland Yard’s economic crime unit.

The job scammers were traced by the IP addresses which they had used when posting the fake job adverts.

A spokesperson for Gumtree, the free classified ads site, says that measures have since been put in place to prevent these sort of phishing scams from getting posted to their website in the future.

The court case at the Old Bailey continues and is expected to conclude before the end of October.

****Back in April, we wrote an in-depth article for the e4s jobs blog focusing on how students can be targeted by money laundering scams. We explained about the sorts of jobs scams that fraudsters try to dupe students with - and gave details of how you can help to stamp them out. Read it now on the jobs blog: How Students Can Spot Money Laundering Scams (And What They Can Do When They See Them…)

Find your perfect job now!

Register now to let employers find you and be notified about the latest relevant jobs