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Asked to pay for a CRB check? Make sure it isn’t a fraud.

By Keith Rosser, Chair, Safer Jobs on 23 Sep, 2014

What can you do to identify a genuine request  from a prospective employer for a criminal record check from a fake ?

1. In England and Wales the criminal record checks bureau changed its name from CRB to DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) approximately one year ago; despite this, many fraudsters still ask for money in advance for a ‘CRB’ check. If you are asked to pay for a CRB check, it is unlikely to be genuine.

2. Perform the industry test. Only certain roles require criminal record checks. Is your role in education, healthcare, or security? If it isn't, the request for a check is unlikely to be genuine. The DBS website provides more detailed guidance on what roles require a criminal record check.

In Scotland, a standard criminal record check can be conducted on any role, however the employer will still need to be registered with Disclosure Scotland to process the check.  Always go to the official Disclosure Scotland website and check there first:

3. Is the employer a genuine registered body with the DBS or DS? Check online at: ( and (

4. In the security sector, the SIA licence includes a criminal record check, so you shouldn't be asked for money upfront for a criminal record check.  If you are, the chances are it's a scam

5. Check the price. In other sectors, where you are asked for payment, ask who is processing the check. Is it the employer or a third party? If it's the employer, you should not pay more than £46 for a DBS or £25 for a Disclosure Scotland check. If the employer asks for more, it is likely to be a scam. Remember, most organisations will want you to start the role so will not ask for any payment upfront. If in any doubt, do not part with any money during the recruitment process

Most third parties will charge a small administration fee, but if you are asked to pay more than £60 for a DBS or £40 for a Disclosure Scotland check with a third party, it is likely to be a scam

6. Check with SAFERjobs at Report suspected or actual job fraud and join us in our campaign against UK job fraud.

Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.  If you report fraud to them, you will receive a police crime reference number.  Action Fraud can be contacted at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

What can you do to identify a fake job?

1. Always research the company online and call a registered landline number to speak to someone about the role

2. Any job should only be offered once a face-to-face or thorough telephone interview has taken place. If you are offered a role without this, it will be a scam

3. Never part with money upfront during the recruitment process

4. Be alert to job offers that barely match your experience or skill set – these are likely to be a scam

5. Check the organisation’s website address and formal email address online. Be aware of job offers that come from unofficial email addresses (or variations of the actual company email address) such as gmail, hotmail, etc.

6. Join our campaign against UK job fraud at SAFERjobs ( as recently featured on BBC News and BBC Fake Britain.


Safer Jobs, the Recruitment Industry Counter-Fraud Forum, (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment) is a non-profit making, industry wide, forum created to raise awareness about and combating criminal activities that may be attempted on those within the industry or through the services provided by the industry.