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DBS Checks and Advance Fee Job Scams

Apply for a DBS Check

To coincide with the launch of the Home Office's Stop! Think Fraud campaign, the Disclosure and Barring Service is publicising a new campaign to try to prevent job seekers from falling foul of advanced fee job scams, which commonly involve criminal records checking. Fraudsters are trying to deceive job seekers into paying up-front for non-existent DBS checks, particularly during peak recruitment periods. Job hunters are conned into paying upfront for recruitment administration, including a supposed DBS check required for progressing with a job offer. The DBS has put together essential tips to help job seekers protect themselves from fake DBS check scams during their job search.


Eligibility for DBS Checking

Not all positions require a Standard or Enhanced DBS check. Standard or enhanced checks are typically only required for roles in education, health, social care, and security. If your job doesn't fall within these categories and you're asked for a DBS check, it could be a fraudulent request.


Outdated Terminology

Beware of outdated requests using obsolete terminology. Since 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was replaced by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales. Although many people still use the CRB acronym, any reputable site such as ours will ensure you are aware that you are applying for a DBS check, not a CRB check, or a similar check by another name.


Check for the DBS Logo

Genuine organisations registered with DBS are prohibited from using its logo on their websites. If you see a DBS logo, or an organisation making other claims about affiliation or being a DBS agent, always look deeper into what they are claiming.


Security Industry Bodies

In the security industry, only the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is allowed to conduct background and criminal checks. Always check why you are being asked to pay up-front for a background check and make sure this is indeed standard practice in the industry you wish to get a job in.


Think About the Cost Consideration

Understand the costs associated with DBS checks. The costs are clearly stated on the government website and are a good starting point. Some agencies may charge a little more than the stated rate, especially if they offer additional services such as form completing and advice lines and this is nothing to be alarmed about. Vastly inflated fees for DBS checks are a signal that something might be wrong.


General Scam Advice

The cost-of-living crisis has made getting a job a priority for many and this leads people to click on links which in other circumstances they might treat with caution. Always take the time to search for a company or doing a bit of background research into the line of work they are offering. If you are suspicious about a post you’ve seen online, look at the advice on Action Fraud, and report the advert to them if you are still unsure. Remember that not every request to pay for a DBS check upfront is dodgy, but if it’s not standard in the industry, or the amount you are being asked for is excessive, it might be.