Australia's mining industry is riddled with con artists who run phantom online recruitment services, according to one industry insider.
Jody Elliott is a former human resources manager for BHP Billiton and now runs a free information website for applicants seeking work in the mining industry.
Part of her motivation for launching www.mineblogger.com.au was the staggering number of questionable operators who charged job seekers for inside information and training courses that are worthless.
Fair Trading authorities in Queensland are investigating the activities of convicted scammer Roger Temple Bell, who ran www.minejobsaustralia.com until recently.
The Cairns man was convicted last year of breaching the Fair Trading Act after charging job seekers $50 to submit their resumes for positions in a gold mine that never existed.
A series of recent complaints has turned the spotlight on Temple Bell once more, after he sold training manuals that he claimed could fast-track employment opportunities at two new mining operations in the Bowen Basin.
Ms Elliott said the warning signs of employment scams were often obvious, but the lure of wealth and lifestyle could lead people to believe anything.
"I am often concerned and distressed at the number of candidates I meet who have been ripped off by a number of people, by paying money for information and training guides that have no value whatsoever.
"There is one website that sells inside guides on getting a job and they even offer to create resumes for job seekers, but the information offered contains a number of spelling mistakes.
"You would hope people would wise up to something like that."
Other services promising high-paying jobs in the industry should be avoided at all costs, especially during times of economic uncertainty, she said.
"Under no circumstances at any point in time is there ever a guaranteed job in the industry ... if these jobs existed, you wouldn't have to pay for a foot in the door.
"Hiring is about finding the best person for the role, not the person who pays for it."
People looking for work in the mining sector should research the required qualifications and find an accredited training provider. Quick solutions that seemed too good to be true probably are and could leave the job seeker hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket, she said.
Ms Elliott's website offers free job information and listings and is backed by several mining companies.
In addition to this article, Mineblogger recommends the following websites for information relating to career pathways and relevant industry training:
Chamber of Minerals and Energy - Western Australia: http://www.peopleforthefuture.com.au/.
South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy: http://www.resourcessa.org.au/industrycareers.php