Posted by Julia Roxan on 31 January 2017

I’ve applied for a job at an accountancy firm, but they’ve emailed to say that I would need to take a three month training course which costs £4,000 first. I’m keen on the job, but should I pay for the training?

Some employers do ask you to pay for training, but will normally take the cost from your wages rather than asking you to pay in advance.

Asking for up-front payments is one of the classic signs of a scam, so it’s important you do some research on the firm before parting with any cash.

Start by checking if they have a website. If there isn’t a website, they are unlikely to be legitimate.  Pay close attention to their email address too - look to see if they are using a personal email account such as Gmail or Hotmail, rather than one that’s branded.

Next, check how they describe their company - if they are an Ltd or Plc they should be listed on the Companies House website at www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company. If you can’t find them there, they probably aren’t real.

You can also look the firm up on the internet to see what people are writing about it. People who suspect a scam or have been scammed, will often post on forums or social media. Genuine companies will usually have client reviews outside of just their own website.

If you spot something that doesn’t sit right and you want a second opinion, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506. If you think it might be a scam report it to Action Fraud on Telephone: 0300 123 2040, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk

Alternatively visit citizensadvice.org.uk for more information or if you need more advice, contact Citizens Advice Forest of Dean on 01594 823937; visit our website www.forestofdeancab.co.uk, or find us on Facebook or twitter. Please note the Cinderford, Coleford and Lydney offices are appointment only at present.