The chair of SAFERJobs, the recruitment industry anti-fraud body, has urged recruiters to play their part in stamping out scams, following a spate of recent reports of jobseekers being scammed into paying up to £250 to fraudsters for criminal records checks for fake jobs.
Keith Rosser says that up to 50% of all scams or suspected scams currently being reported to SAFERJobs involve advance fee criminal record checks for non-existent jobs. “We have had 20 separate reports made to us in the past four weeks, which is a lot for one type of fraud,” says Rosser.
Rosser explains that typically, fake jobs are offered using the names of real employers or recruitment agencies, with jobseekers being notified of their success in obtaining the position and asked to pay an upfront fee through an online money transfer method.
When the job seeker then attends the workplace on their first day, they find the job does not exist. Many of the fake jobs purport to be in the security industry, where criminal records checks are the norm. But the scam is also being used in other sectors, including part-time restaurant work and jobs in finance.
One example of this type of fraud occurred at Luton Airport, reported in April.
Rosser urges recruiters and job boards to play their part in combating this type of scam, particularly when they hear about it from jobseekers.
“Take it seriously and investigate it,” he says, adding “Better to kill it than let it lead to wider reputational problems.”
Rosser advises recruiters “to point jobseekers in the right direction” by helping them report the scam to SAFERJobs, or to other law enforcement agencies. This approach will also reflect well on their organisation, as “they will be seen as a responsible recruiter”, he says.