Staying safe and spotting scams

Among the hundreds of part-time jobs advertised every year a few may not be genuine. Take sensible precautions to safeguard your safety.

When applying for part-time jobs, be alert to the small possibility that the advert is an attempt to exploit you. 


  • Check that the interview will be in a public place or at a registered office.  

  • Don’t go to a private home for interview unless you are going to work for a private individual. Tell someone where you are going and keep your phone switched on.    

Working alone, or at night: 

  • Always consider your own personal safety.  

  • Tell friends where you are and when you should be back   

  • Make sure you understand what you’re expected to do, and any risks involved  

  • Make sure you fully understand any emergency procedures  

  • Make sure you have access to a first aid kit  

  • Make sure you have regular contact with your employer  

  • Tell your employer about any medical conditions that may put you at risk when working alone. For more advice on your personal safety see

Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Spotting scams:   

Not all employers are genuine. If you think a job opportunity doesn’t feel right, be cautious. Trust your instincts. In particular, be wary of an employer who:  

  • Asks you to invest money (never send money to employers)  

  • Expects you to pay for training or stock before starting work   

  • Asks for details of your bank account when you apply  

  • Asks that you make financial transactions using your bank account; the money that you are transferring through your account may actually be being laundered which means that you are committing a criminal offence  

  • Offers a very high salary  

  • If someone stops you on the street and claims to be University of Edinburgh staff check their name badge or staff card. Do not disclose personal information.  

  • Don't give your full residential address unless you need to

Read our blog post about scam job offers:

Scam job offers and recruitment agencies    (Inform.ed blog)

Try Googling the company name and “scam” to see if other people have reported issues. For more advice see Safer Jobs. 

We advise you to make your own checks on companies.

 Safer Jobs

More information about common scams directed at new students is on the University's website:

Watch out for scams or fraud!