Asked to Pay for a Criminal Record Check? Make sure it isn't a fraud...
What can you do to identify the genuine request from the fake?
1. In England and Wales the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was replaced by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in December 2012; despite this, many fraudsters still ask for money in advance for a ‘CRB’ check. If you are asked to pay for a CRB check, it is unlikely to be genuine. For more information about the DBS, click here: https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview
2. Perform the industry test. Only certain roles require DBS checks. The majority are within education, healthcare, and the security sectors - so if your job offer isn't it could be a scam. For more detailed guidance on what roles require a DBS check in England and Wales refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-check-eligible-positions-guidance
A Basic criminal record check can be conducted on any role; you can apply for a basic disclosure yourself directly through Disclosure Scotland (DS) or you can use a company registered with DS. To check if a company is registered with DS to process basic disclosures, check http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/disclosureinformation/UmbrellaBodies.htm
In Scotland, a standard criminal record check can be conducted on any role, however the employer will still need to be registered with Disclosure Scotland to process the check. Always go to the official Disclosure Scotland website and check there first:
3. Ask who is processing the check. Is it the employer (Registered body) or a third party (Umbrella Body)? If it is the employer, you can contact the DBS (0300 0200 190) or Disclosure Scotland (0300 0200 040) to find out if they are a genuine registered body.
If it is a third party, you can check that they are a genuine registered Umbrella Body online at: https://dbs-ub-directory.homeoffice.gov.uk/ and http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/disclosureinformation/UmbrellaBodies.htm
If the Umbrella Body is genuine, contact them to ensure that the employer is registered to use their service.
4. In the security sector; typically only the SIA are permitted to DBS check security positions (as part of the licencing process) so you shouldn't be asked for money upfront for a criminal record check. If you are, the chances are it's a scam
5. Check the price. In other sectors, where you are asked for payment, ask who is processing the check. Is it the employer or a third party? If it's the employer, you should not pay more than £26 for a standard DBS, £44 for an enhanced DBS or £25 for a Basic Disclosure Scotland check. If the employer asks for more, it is likely to be a scam.
Most third parties will charge a small administration fee, but if you are asked to pay more than £70 for a DBS or £50 for a basic Disclosure Scotland check with a third party, it is likely to be a scam. Your employer should never ask for payment to join the DBS Update Service.
Remember, most organisations will want you to start the role so will not ask for any payment upfront. If in any doubt, do not part with any money during the recruitment process.
6. Check with SAFERjobs at www.safer-jobs.com. Report suspected or actual job fraud and join us in our campaign against UK job fraud.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. If you report fraud to them, you will receive a police crime reference number. Action Fraud can be contacted at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
What can you do to identify a fake job?
1. Always research the company online and call a registered landline number to speak to someone about the role
2. Any job should only be offered once a face-to-face or thorough telephone interview has taken place. If you are offered a role without this, it will be a scam
3. Never part with money upfront during the recruitment process
4. Be alert to job offers that barely match your experience or skill set – these are likely to be a scam
5. Check the organisation’s website address and formal email address online. Be aware of job offers that come from unofficial email addresses (or variations of the actual company email address) such as gmail, hotmail, etc.
6. Join our campaign against UK job fraud at SAFERjobs (www.safer-jobs.com) as recently featured on BBC News and BBC Fake Britain.
Keith Rosser, Chair, SAFERjobs