How best to stay safe when applying for jobs online
Your safety is important! Jobseekers can often be subject to exploitation; and when you are away from home and in a foreign country, you are more vulnerable than normal.
We don’t intend to scare you. Most backpackers will have an awesome time here is Australia, meet new people and experience a working holiday with no problems while travelling. However, there are disreputable employers and scammers out there, which you will want to avoid.
The best way to stay safe is to educate yourself of the risk, express caution when applying for work and do your homework on all potential employers.
There are no guarantees that employers and the work advertised is legitimate. There may be pay disputes. Working conditions may not be sound or fair. Unscrupulous employers exist. So you should prepare yourself well, take precautions and do your homework. Here’s some tips we’d suggest to help you stay safe.
1. Don’t pay upfront fees
Never apply for any job which asks for any upfront fees.
2. Don’t send any personal information
Do not exchange any personal information or banking details online. Do not share your passport information, visa details or any sensitive documents.
3. Speak to and Employer before committing to a role.
Be sensible when meeting an employer for the first time. Arrange a meeting place where you will feel comfortable. Make sure you speak to them on the phone prior to meeting. Make sure that a other people know about your arrangements. Take a friend with you to any interviews where possible. If physically meeting before commencing work is not possible, arrange a Skype interview and follow it up again with a phone call at a later date.
Ask plenty of questions; ask about pay, accommodation, working hours. Ask for photos if accommodation is included.
4. Do your homework!
Ask for their ABN and look it up on the Government website. Check that their registered business name and address match the information they provided. Do they have a website? Check it out.
Does their email address match their website address?
Google the name of the person you have had contact with. Often you’ll find their Facebook profile or LinkedIn profile. Make sure it matches the impression they have given you. Does this person work at the business named? Does their job title match? Does their current location / address match?
Have a look on Google Maps and check their business location matches the information provided.
Are there any reviews online for this business? Note, happy customers often mean a happy workplace for employees.
Take a look on Facebook and Twitter to see if they have a good reputation.
Post of message on the Backpacker Job Board Facebook page to see if anyone else has met or worked with this employer.
5. Trust yourself and use common sense
Remember, most importantly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t smell right, don’t contact them any further, get in touch with Backpacker Job Board. We’ll help check them out.
Please alert Backpacker Job Board staff to any spam or unsuitable job vacancies. We manually moderate all the jobs on this job board, but on occasion unsuitable vacancies still slip through the net. We will take down any such vacancies immediately.
What can I do if I have not been treated fairly?
If you have already found employment and believe the employment to be unfair, there are services available in Australia to help you. Even though you are not an Australian citizen, you have rights. Perhaps the working conditions were improper, you’ve been mistreated or not been paid correctly.
If so, contact Fair Work Australia. This is Australia’s ombudsman for workplace conduct. They also help provide information and advice about Australia's workplace rights and rules. Make a formal complain with them.
If you believe the conduct was illegal, contact the police.
Finally, contact Backpacker Job Board. Let us know as much information as possible. If the employer is posting ads on our job board, we want to know so we can remove them as soon as possible.
If you are in an emergency situation, here are some contact details for help.
- Police or medical help: call 000 (triple zero)
- Homeless? These institutes may help redcross.org.au, missionaustralia.com.au , homelessnessaustralia.org.au
Finally, the embassy of your home country will also be able to provide advice and assistance.
We support the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online scheme.
Have we missed something? Help us keep our safety advice up to date. Drop us an email with any extra information you think we should include.