DBS Working with Jobs Aware to Raise Awareness of Scams

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Since the Spring of 2021, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has been working closely with its partner bodies of AccessNI and Disclosure Scotland, and campaigning organisation JobsAware to raise awareness of scams operating in the jobs market. JobsAware is a government funded group which produces information about how to spot a job scam and supports job seekers who have fallen foul of one of the scams.

Job scams have become increasingly commonplace during the pandemic, with large numbers of people on furlough, and others trying to find new jobs after being made redundant from the hospitality and retail sectors. A staggering 74% of job seekers admit to having applied for jobs which were not genuine during the pandemic.


Lack of Awareness

We all like to think we’d spot a scan, but it’s not always so easy. Equipping job seekers with knowledge about the most common scams, and how they operate, gives them the tools to spot a dodgy advert when they come across it. Often, there are criminals behind scam job adverts, who use the information provided by well-meaning job seekers for identity theft.

The jobs market is constantly evolving, and very few people write application letters and send a CV through the post anymore. Online applications are the norm, but the internet makes it much easier for scammers too. Security and checking on job vacancy websites isn’t always all it could be, and this makes it easy for recruiters to post their fraudulent adverts.


Recognising Fraud

It’s impossible to detail every single scam out there, and as quickly as one scam becomes public knowledge, the scammers come up with something new. There are however some general guidelines which have been put together by the DBS and JobsAware to help job seekers and employers know what to look out for.

  • Companies and emails which don’t exist – most companies, even the smallest, will have some sort of online presence, even if it’s just a Twitter and Facebook page. Alarm bells should start ringing if you can find no trace of a prospective employer anywhere online.
  • Poorly-written adverts – most employers will take care over crafting their adverts and will give a good level of detail in a job description. A job advert which is riddled with spelling mistakes, and which is lacking in detail should be avoided.
  • Unrealistic salaries – often the scammers will advertise a position at well over the going market rate as a way of hooking people into their scam.
  • Being asked for money – candidates are often asked to pay for their own DBS checks, but not until after they have had an interview and received a formal job offer. If an advert asks you to send money for a DBS check or any other charge up front, avoid.

If you suspect you’ve fallen foul of a job advert scam, then let JobsAware know. They will investigate the people behind the scam where possible, and every experience shared will help other applicants spot similar scams.