As we emerge from pandemic restrictions, the DBS has recently launched an awareness campaign about scam adverts, many of which are specifically targeting people who have lost their jobs over the past year. The campaign is being run by the DBS in conjunction with JobsAware (the re-branded SaferJobs organisation), Disclosure Scotland and Access NI, across all four parts of the UK. JobsAware is a not-for-profit body which works with government to make people aware of scams and other practices affecting job seekers. They can also provide support for people who have been adversely affected by fraud.
Extent of Fraud
The number of fraudulent job postings is higher than many people imagine – industry figures show that during the pandemic, almost 75% of all people actively looking for a job went so far as applying for a job which wasn’t genuine. The main issue appears to be lack of education and awareness about the growing problem of employment fraud. Equipping job hunters with the knowledge and awareness about scams should help them spot the dodgy job offers quickly, and prevent them being scammed out of money, and wasting time too.
Although the main aim of people offering fake jobs is to scam some money out of the applicant, there is also evidence that some of the perpetrators are using the personal details which applicants hand over to commit identity fraud.
How To Spot a Scam
The JobsAware site has lots of information about all types of job scams and how to identify them. There are however some common themes which appear in multiple adverts and might help weed out the fakes. These are:
- Adverts for companies which don’t exist – always Google a company to make sure it’s genuine before applying.
- Adverts which have lots of spelling and grammar errors.
- Suspicious contact details – multinational companies don’t generally use Yahoo or Gmail email addresses, for example.
- Offers of jobs with immediate starts, no need for an interview or application form.
- Salaries way above the going rate for the work.
- Requests to pay an administration fee, processing fee, or consideration fee.
How are DBS Checks Involved?
One of the common tricks the scammers use is to state that the position under consideration needs a DBS check, and request that applicants pay the cost for this check up front. The applicant pays the check, never receives their certificate, and the job offer falls through.
What Can I Do If I’ve Been Scammed?
JobsAware want to hear from you if you have been targeted by this sort of scam or have been treated unfairly by a recruiter. You can report the company online and JobsAware will investigate. If you have been conned out of money to apply for a job or have been asked to pay for a DBS check which never arrives, then this is a police matter. Talk about your experiences and post on job forums to share what’s happened with other job hunters; you might be able to save someone else from the same fate.