Bogus modelling agencies, pyramid schemes and phoney investment firms are among the traps facing thousands of students as the fierce hunt for summer jobs begins. The Labour Department has warned students about advertisements promising good money for little or no experience and demands for cash by employers. The latest figures show competition is tough, with 19,156 people, mostly students, competing for 343 government temporary jobs - 55 applicants for every job. This time last year, there were only eight applicants for each post. 'In previous years, students have had to try hard, and it is commonsense that when unemployment is high, it's going to be even tougher for them,' Labour Officer Lee Sin-man said. Firms have only just begun notifying the department of vacancies and, as yet, no figures are available. But the Consumer Council has already raised fears about bogus job offers that leave students further in debt. There were 600 complaints about fake modelling contracts last year, sparking a police crackdown. In the first three months of this year, 50 people complained to the council about being conned into signing false modelling contracts. 'Job offers from modelling agencies should lead to them giving you money, not them taking it from you,' said the head of the Consumer Council's complaints advice division, Chan Wing-kai. He said students should be wary of 'agents' handing out cards on busy streets or train stations, and who then swindle them out of thousands of dollars in management fees or courses. Other scams are pyramid schemes, direct sales requiring a big outlay beforehand, 'immoral' jobs in nightclubs and promises of big money from investment sales that lead to students investing - and losing - their money. Ms Lee said students should never sign contracts they do not fully understand. 'Always bear in mind that you have the right to refuse the job. Be rational at interviews and ask for a photocopy of contracts to show teachers or family before signing,' she said.