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  • "It's not the fact this girl has lost £60 that gets to me, it's more the fact she actually wants to work and turned up to start a new job, probably feeling very excited with butterflies etc, to be told you've been conned.

    How disheartening!!"
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Website targeted by scammers urges people to report foul play

Marina Haisman

Marina Haisman

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

THE website that online scammers used to target job seekers in Hampshire is urging victims to report any foul play.

An international scam, which had led police to Mauritius, is conning vulnerable job hunters out of money across the south.

Marina Haisman, from Holbury, was left £60 out of pocket and without the job she was promised after responding to a fake online job advert posted on Gumtree.com.

Website bosses are now advising people to take extra care when applying online and to report anything suspicious to them immediately in a bid to prevent anyone else falling victim to these cruel scammers.

Marina, 18, was relieved when she thought her two-year hunt for a job was over after being told her application for a job at the Highfield House Hotel in Portswood had been successful.

She had found the advert on Gumtree.com, which she frequently uses to find vacancies, and after what she was told was a short telephone interview, she received an email telling her she had got the job and her training would start once she had paid £60 for a criminal records check.

But when she turned up at the hotel for her first day she was told by bosses that the advert was a fake and that she had been the second person to fall victim to the cruel online scam.

The hotel reported the case to police, whose investigations so far have led them to believe the scam originates from Mauritius.

A spokesperson from Gumtree.com said: “We actively encourage job hunters on Gumtree.com to meet prospective employers in person and research the company through independent sources.

“People should be very wary of any ‘employer’ that they haven’t met, offering them a job that sounds too good to be true. We carry this advice on the site and warn against scams such as this one.

“If anyone is suspicious of an ad we encourage them to report it to us through the ‘report’ button on every ad. Our dedicated safety team will then investigate it and take appropriate action.”

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