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Alert: watch out for Job Application Fraud

1st May 2014

Criminals continue to take advantage of the vulnerability of people seeking employment by exploiting the anxiety and financial pressure that being out of work can cause.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has continued to receive reports concerning advanced fee fraud linked to job applications.

How Job Application Fraud works

The fraud is initiated and maintained through online platforms (web and email), often using the names of genuine employers and recruitment agencies. The email or website advertises a job - usually in the services industry or the security sector.

After only submitting a CV, the victim is offered the job and asked to pay an upfront fee of around £50 by e-money (i.e. via an online money transfer businesses). The charge is claimed to be required for a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check or a uniform fitting.

After paying the fee, the ‘recruitment agent’ may then claim that the e-money payment has failed and that the victim must submit a further e-money voucher code to continue with the application (needless to say, the original payment was successful, this additional step is purely to maximise the fraudsters gain after establishing the victim’s interest). 

The victim is then asked to attend an interview or induction / training session, taking place at a multi-purpose business venue, such as a conference centre. The company offering employment is later found not to exist or the genuine recruiter has no knowledge of the contact details used by the suspects.

How to avoid becoming a victim of Job Application Fraud

  • Check that the advertisement is genuine. Research telephone numbers and websites yourself – don’t rely on the information provided in the advert.
  • Be aware of advertisements with contact details that include free registration e-mail addresses (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail etc.)
  • Be cautious if you are asked to pay upfront fees, especially via e-money.
  • Only provide identification documents and bank account details after you are confident that the job is genuine.

The NFIB is issuing this advice in conjunction with the Security Industry Authority (SIA), emphasising the commitment of both organisations to reduce victimisation and target prevention advice within the security sector.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

Related link

Employment fraud