10 most common scams: Recruitment fraud

Find out how to beat the fraudsters


Recruitment fraud involves people being targeted with offers of fake jobs and training.

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, recruitment fraud, which involves people being targeted with offers of fake jobs and training.

How does it work?
Recruitment, or employment, fraud comes in several guises. You might, for example, be contacted someone claiming to be an employer or a recruitment agent who has seen your CV on an online job site and wants to interview you.

In many cases, the job you are offered is overseas and the fraudsters will contact you saying that you need to sort out your travel, accommodation and visas - for which you have to pay fee such as a visa administration charge.

However, there is no job and any money you send will be gone for good. Worse still, those who send their bank account details for salary payments to be set up may also have extra cash stolen from their accounts.

Another common employment-related scam known as business opportunity fraud involves advertisements or websites that offer the chance to make money by working from home, for example by filling envelopes or by setting up a website to sell goods or services.

You will be asked to pay money up front to register with the scheme, set up your web site or buy products to sell on. But you will get nothing back.

How can I avoid being caught out?
You can often spot a fake job offer due to the poor spelling and grammar used by the fraudsters behind it.

If in doubt, you can also check up on the accuracy of the information you are given, for example by calling the embassy of the country you are supposed to be going to work in to check how much a visa costs.

It also makes sense to check official records to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists and check online forums for mentions of the company/person you are dealing with.

Citizens Advice said: "A mobile number or PO Box number are easy to close and difficult to trace – either could be a sign that the company doesn't exist or is not legitimate.

"Check out the company's details with Companies House or look on the internet for more details about them."

To avoid being taken in by working from home scams, meanwhile, be wary of adverts stating that you can earn a specific amount and look out for web mail email addresses such as @yahoo or @hotmail and mobile phone numbers beginning 07.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?
Once you realise that a job or business opportunity you have been offered is a fake, you should stop all communication with the "agency" or "employer" immediately, but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

You should also contact your bank as quickly as possible if you have handed over any money, or your account details.

And don't forget to keep any letters, emails or documents relating to the fraud as evidence.

Other common scams
1. Phishing
2. Car fraud
3. Ticket fraud
4. Boiler rooms
5. Auction websites
6. Money transfers

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