Do More to Verify Jobs are Genuine, Fraud Prevention Body Urges
The fake jobs advertised on aggregator indeed.co.uk came to light this week during a BBC Three Counties radio programme. Keith Rosser, the chair of SAFERjobs, the recruitment industry body tasked with combating employment fraud, was interviewed on the programme on Tuesday ([15 April].
Rosser tells Recruiter that the scam involved fooling job seekers into handing over a £200 “administration fee” for jobs that didn’t exist. This included an upfront charge for criminal records checks.
A jobseeker, who was given anonymity, told the programme how she had fallen victim to the scam.
The existence of the scam comes after the conviction of an Exeter recruiter for fraud, earlier this month.
Richard Hurley, communications manager at CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service, tells Recruiter that CIFAS “is certainly aware of such scams”. However, he says that a more common scam is for fraudsters to place fake jobs, where people are asked to transfer funds to a third party using their own bank account. These jobs are a front for money laundering, he says.
Hurley urges job boards, job portals and local papers, where many of these jobs are advertised to do more to verify that they are genuine. While is it is not practical to give all jobs the same degree of scrutiny, he says that a phone call to Luton Airport’s HR department would have revealed that the security jobs did not exist.
Hurley adds that organisations need to be aware that fraudsters target those whose procedures they believe to be weak or inadequate.
CIFAS gives some tips to organisations hosting jobs on how to verify they are genuine:
No legitimate employer will ever ask a jobseeker to bank a cheque or their cash in their own bank account – if they are legitimate they will have accounts of their own
Check that the company’s contact details (address, phone number, email address and website) are correct and that they are registered in the UK. An employer without a landline number is another warning sign
Often adverts are put together by people based outside the UK in countries whose first language is not English; so be mindful of any strange phraseology, misspellings, poor grammar and other errors, as these can be revealing. The criminals frequently prey on those who are less likely to detect these errors
In a statement, Luton Airport tells Recruiter: “When the fake job advert was bought to our attention we notified the authorities and participated in local media interviews to make people aware that the adverts were not official and that all official positions in the airport security section are only posted on the Luton Airport website.”
A spokesperson for Indeed tells Recruiter: “Indeed takes the privacy and safety of our job seekers very seriously and our products are designed to protect user data. Indeed never shares job seeker contact information with any third parties.
“In order for an employer and job seeker to communicate directly, the job seeker must expressly agree. Otherwise, the personal and contact information of the job seeker is never visible to the employer.”