Recruitment scams on the rise and what to be aware of

It stands to reason that with UK unemployment figures soaring to new levels that this will set off a growing panic among those looking for work in the population. Not only do job seekers have to contend with lack of jobs, they also have to avoid falling victim to scammers.

An alarming trend has surfaced in recent times with the recruitment market flooded with fake job postings, bogus courses and certificates, phony criminal record and credit checks, fake CV-enhancing services as well as various other employment-related services.

The process of recruitment fraud mirrors that of applying for an actual job with the main difference being that job seekers are robbed of their money. They may be asked to pay for phoney visas, pay towards a training course, sell goods online in the expectation of being paid at a later date or spend money unknowingly advertising fake jobs.

According to a non-profit organisation established to fight recruitment fraud, there has been a 65 percent increase (800 fakes) in the number of reported cases. It is suspected that this might just be the tip of the iceberg and that the real extent of the problem is far worse as only a very small percentage of victims report the scams to authorities.

Fraudsters appear very professional, using false names, false companies and fake company email addresses.

With the spotlight heavy on fraudulent activities by the authorities, being accused (even a false accusation) can have far reaching consequences for the victims – consequences such as deportation in the case of visa-holders or a criminal record or imprisonment can best be avoided with professional legal representation from a well-experienced and competent Fraud solicitor.

It is widely assumed that employers are the only people who would require a background check upon hiring a new employee. What’s more, is that they can find many online tools (, for example) that can help them get the necessary information about the new hire. However, what most people don’t know is that it is not just a business that can be negatively affected by a bad employee, the situation can be vice-versa as well. In some cases, unwary job seekers, in the hope to secure employment, are asked to phone in for a telephone interview on prime rate phone numbers, attend video interviews or register for sham online training courses that need to be paid for. Some are even lured into bogus work-from-home opportunities that involve money laundering activities.

Fraudsters may also use personal information given to them by hopeful job seekers; information regarding bank details and copies of passports (that are usually required by bona fide employers) to access their bank accounts or steal their identities to apply for credit or mobile phone contracts.

SAFERjobs offers important advice to help job seekers avoid being scammed that includes:

  • Be suspicious of too-good-to-be-true offers especially entry-level jobs detailing unusually attractive salaries.
  • Always carry out company background checks especially when the company is not a well-known brand.
  • Be suspicious of anyone asking you to pay money upfront or ask you to disclose personal information.
  • Be suspicious of any employer that uses a free email account address.
  • Be on the lookout for poorly written communication.
  • Check the company registration in question against official registries.

Anyone who is aware of a scam in play should not hesitate to contact the relevant authority bodies to notify them of fraudulent activity. International students or migrant workers who are accused of fraudulent activities can seek professional legal support from the highly-experienced legal team at ABV Solicitors.