Back in 2011 several of the major players in the recruitment and online recruitment industry set up ‘Safer Jobs‘. The purpose of Safer Jobs is to help protect employers, jobseekers and service providers from crime during the recruitment process. as it had been noted that job scams were rising. The National Fraud Agency defines employment fraud as a fraud which happens when a; “fraudster claims to be a recruitment agent, hiring for a job…” These are often referred to as ‘job fraud’ or ‘job scams’.
The Daily Telegraph has published an article noting the ‘Top 10 Scams to watch out for in 2014‘ with Jobs and training courses making the top 10. The Telegraph explains how criminals are offering work as ‘money transfer agents’ which involves the victim receiving money into their bank account then transferring to another, keeping some as payment. This is money laundering and can lead to long prison sentences. Fake training courses are also being advertised, promising a job on its completion, only to find that the company isn’t real. People are signing up to these training courses and parting with their cash on false pretences. It has been found that the majority of job scams are online that can include ID theft and phishing.
Safer Jobs helps to educate and share fraud information with the aim of supporting job seekers to be more prepared and better equipped. This year, as part of Safer Jobs objectives, social media has been brought to the forefront of investigations, and in particular onto LinkedIn. It became very clear that LinkedIn is a major facilitator in jobs scams with spurious jobs and fake profiles. False jobs are advertised ranging from fake senior level jobs, to work at home scams. To avoid being conned check out the validity of the profile and the company offering the jobs. Cross-check with their official website and making sure the recruiter works for the company. Any work from home, get rich quick that seem too good to be true, probably are and should be approached carefully with caution.
Other advise given is;
- Do your research. The internet may be a facilitator of fraudulent jobs, however it is also an amazing tool to support research jobseekers when used correctly. Research companies and job contexts.
- When working with a recruitment agency always use an accredited one! Check their websites for affiliations and The REC offer a complaints procedure route if working with an accredited agency.
- Premium rate phone numbers are often prevalent in scams. If you are asked to call one for an interview… DONT! Legitimate recruitment agencies will do more to persuade you and the employer to join them.
- When money or ID is requested, approach with caution and ALWAYS ask for more information before parting with cash or personal ID. Advance fee fraud and ID fraud are the two largest job scams at present.
- If it looks too good… it probably is! Alarm bells should start ringing when being approached for jobs that include working from home, just a few hours a week, for large amounts of money. Approach with caution!