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Jobseekers warned over recruitment scams

By Rachel Lawler
 
Jobseekers in several sectors, including childcare and early education, have been warned about a growing number of recruitment-based scams.
 
Employment minister Damian Hinds warned that recruitment companies must do more to tackle the problem, as one in 10 jobseekers has admitted to being a victim of a scam. Law enforcement organisation SAFERjobs says it has seen a 300% increase in recruitment-related fraud and misconduct over the past two years.
 
Fake jobs
Recruitment scammers usually advertise fake jobs, asking victims to pay up-front costs for items such as security checks. This means that jobs in the early years sector can be a target. Keith Rosser, chairman of SAFERjobs, explained: “Recruitment fraud is varied and affects people in different ways. It can be a fake job offer advising that the individual needs to pay for security checks, online training, visas or insurance.” Job seekers can visit the SAFERjobs website for more information and free advice on scams and illegal practice.
 
The Department for Work and Pensions provided the example of one candidate, Chloe, who was asked to pay £125 for DBS checks to work in the childcare sector. “Everything about the role looked great and I was advised it would take between six to eight weeks for the checks to be completed. However, once I had paid the money, red flags started to appear when I didn’t hear anything back from the company,” she explained.
 
Fighting back
Chloe has since opened up a fraud investigation and is working with SAFERjobs to try and get her money back. She added: “This is not how to treat people. This has caused me so much stress over the past couple of months, right when my income is low and I’m trying to find work. I want to stop this agency from doing this to other people.”
 
Damien Hinds added: “Looking for work can be tough enough and even the smallest setback can derail the most promising careers. Many of the people affected are just looking to provide for their families, and instead face financial hardship at no fault of their own. I want more of these fraudsters to be caught and to feel the full extent of the law.”
 
The Department for Work and Pensions advises jobseekers:
  • Never pay costs up front – including fees for security checks, visas or training
  • Do not phone the company for an interview – keeping people waiting on a premium rate phoneline is another popular scam
  • You should not be asked to do everything online – a telephone or face-to-face interview should be required at some stage
  • Do not share your personal details, including your bank account, proof of address and national insurance number, on your CV
  • Research the company or agency – social media and other sources can help you decide if the company is reputable

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The Alliance supports the practice of safer recruitment. The Alliance will never request any payments as part of its recruitment practices and will never ask candidates to pay for a DBS check.

Job vacancies at the Alliance are all advertised online here.