Scammers are targeting job-hunters in the run-up to Christmas, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment warns.

"Scammers are using reputable recruitment sites and newspapers to post vacancies for roles such as courier and store-person," said spokesman Jarrod Rendle.

"Applicants are initially rejected for the role they applied for, but are then offered an alternative administration role opportunity to try and avoid detection.

"Employees are duped into accepting stolen cash into their bank accounts, usually from other phishing victims, and are then required to send the funds back to their overseas employers via a money transfer agent such as Western Union," Mr Rendle said.