Scamwatch: recruitment fraud warning

BBC investigation uncovers massive employment scam

job interview words written on...

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, a new recruitment scam that has conned hundreds of people out of money, according to the BBC.

How does it work?

Recruitment, or employment, fraud comes in several guises, but almost always involves jobseekers being convinced to hand over money as part of the application process.

In this scam uncovered by the BBC, applicants were charged up to £480 in "accreditation fees" for jobs that were either non-existent or involved them working for nothing.

The criminal behind the scam is thought to have created at least 10 bogus companies at which he offered applicants human resources positions after interviewing them in public places such as cafes and hotels.

He then persuaded them to pay "accreditation fees" on the understanding that these charges would be reimbursed once they started being paid.

How can I avoid being caught out?

If you have any doubts about a job offer, it makes sense to check official records to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. You can do this online with Companies House.

You should also be wary of any job adverts that include poor spelling or grammar, and check online forums for mentions of the company or person you are dealing with.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

Once you realise that a job or business opportunity you have been offered is a fake, stop all communication with the "agency" or "employer" immediately.

You should, however, keep any letters, emails or documents relating to the fraud and report it to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040) so the organisation can take action against those behind it.

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud