27/10/2011 05:12 BST | Updated 26/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Land Your Dream job Abroad This Winter - Without Getting Scammed

Despite the recent British October heat record, we're all only too aware that winter is drawing ever closer and that bitter cold snap is just around the corner. It's usually around this time of year that many young people with minimum commitments turn their thoughts to escaping the cold British weather to head off and work in some far-flung, exotic part of the world, with the full intention of spending their winter having fun in the sun.

Landing a job that pays you to travel to some of the world's most exotic destinations sounds like a dream job to most. But it's this precise appeal that has made "jobs abroad" such an ideal breeding ground for crooks to ply their trade. When you add the internet into the fold you realise that it's easier than ever for scam artists to take advantage of easily led young people who desperate to land their dream job overseas in the shortest time possible.

Let's face it, the internet has pretty much replaced the Situations Vacant section of the local paper, particularly when it comes to searching for careers in travel. However, scams are rife on the internet. In fact, job scams in general multiply during tough economic times like these because so many people are desperate for work.

Even with the added security checks that most popular job sites have in place, scammers are able to find creative ways to post false claims. As a jobseeker, you should be cautious and always do some plenty of additional searches and research to back up the claims of any job ad.

Most job sites that specialise in travel positions are legitimate, but even the most popular sites can be prone to exaggerating their claims somewhat! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is so always make more enquiries and probe further before making any career defining decisions and particularly before parting with any money.

Here are some tips to make your online travel job-hunting scam-free.

Recruiters or job sites that ask for money in exchange for a job are a big red flag.

Disguised as a recruitment agency, these crooks con unwitting job seekers to pay hundreds of pounds for services (work permits, visas, uniforms, etc.) with the promise of a "dream job" abroad. Unfortunately after you pay the fees, the communication usually stops and the criminals disappear along with your money and you also realise there was never a job in the first place.

Remember, legitimate recruitment agencies will never charge an applicant a fee because they are already getting paid a fee by the employer.

Avoid revealing your personal information to sites if you are not certain of their authenticity.

Many scam travel job sites don't bother giving detailed information. They are usually sketchy at best and contain grammatical errors and poor English but will still request your personal information. If the description is vague and unclear, it is highly likely that it is a scam.

To avoid identity theft, never give out any personal data such as address, phone numbers, birth date, social security number and passport number on online applications. Criminals will use your information to get fake credit cards and loans in your name.

Free email accounts - signs of an untrustworthy company.

All companies have their own web addresses, and legitimate job offers would always use a professional company email address for any communication. So, if the email or contact information contains a free email address such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail, then the ad is likely to be fake.

If you're looking for your dream job abroad to get away from the cold British winter just tread with caution and once again, remember that old classic adage, "if it sounds too good to be true... it probably is."

Neil Maxwell-Keys is the founder of Careers For Travel, which offers certified e-learning courses for people who want to get paid to travel the world by working in the cruise, aviation and superyacht industries.

For more information about their range of home study e-learn courses visit