Reports of job scams nearly quadruple since 2022, JobsAware reveals

March 25th 2024

Job scam reports have risen 259% from 56 to 201 in Q4 from 2022 to 2023

  • JobsAware launches certification scheme to help protect job seekers, employer brands and recruitment platforms from advertisement scams and fraud

  • New scheme is backed by the Prime Minister’s Anti-Fraud Champion who is responsible for tackling online harms in line with new legislation

Job boards and recruitment platforms are today urged to join a new certification scheme as reports of job-related scams quadruple.

JobsAware’s government-backed, industry-driven certification scheme will help protect job seekers, employer brands and recruitment platforms from advertisement scams and fraud.

Research from the campaigning organisation shows a rise of 259% in job scam reports from Q4 in 2022 to 2023. It also shows three in four job seekers want more action from job boards to prevent fraudulent activity.

Job boards and platforms becoming ‘JobsAware protected’ will help assure job seekers and employers that the jobs listed on these sites are legitimate and that, as a business, they will not be associated with fraudulent activity.

To become JobsAware-protected, businesses will be audited by British Assessment Bureau against a framework of regulation from the UK government, recruitment industry, and JobsAware’s code of practice – co-developed with the industry.

Auditors will need to see clear evidence that all best-practice standards are in place for a certification to be issued, with an annual renewal to ensure standards are maintained.

Online recruitment fraud has continued to increase since the pandemic. Recent Ofcom data shows that 30% of UK online adults have experienced employment scams or fraud, which ranks above the likes of identity, dating and health. People are also losing on average over £3,000 to scammers.

So far, job boards such as e4s, Guardian Jobs, Adzuna and job board software provider, Madgex, have committed to be involved in the scheme’s pilot which is expected to begin in Q2 2024.

JobsAware is calling for all job boards and platforms to become JobsAware protected to show their commitment to protecting job seekers and their business credibility. Companies can visit the JobsAware site ( to apply to join the pilot scheme.

JobsAware, in partnership with British Assessment Bureau, worked with the Online Advertising Programme, an operational part of the Online Safety Act, as well as the Online Recruitment Forum to create the scheme and help tackle online recruitment scams.

JobsAware has previously worked with the Metropolitan Police, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Citizens Advice, Get Safe Online and CIFAS to highlight employment fraud amongst job seekers.

Keith Rosser, chair of JobsAware, says: “This scheme will be game-changing for protecting the safety of workers and work-seekers. How people come to find jobs is fundamentally changing – it’s becoming much more digitalised. On one hand this creates opportunities, but it also allows fraudsters to scale.

“We’ve seen employment scams rise sharply over the past couple of years, harming labour market access and participation. With many people often applying for one role, people are counting on that role being legitimate for their livelihoods. People are losing on average over £3,000 to scammers, they can also have their identity compromised or fall foul to other kinds of labour abuse.

“This scheme is a robust approach with workers and businesses at the very heart, to make sure that everyone involved in the labour market is protected from becoming a victim to fraud.”

Simon Fell, Conservative MP and the Prime Minister’s Anti-Fraud Champion (pictured on this page) says: “I am delighted to support the JobsAware online recruitment scheme aimed at tackling fake job adverts that not only defraud people looking for jobs, but also lead to other labour abuses such as modern slavery.

“This scheme is an excellent example of an industry stepping up to protect the public to meet the requirements of the Online Safety Act. It’s a good example of what we want to see from the online economy as we strengthen controls alongside important initiatives such as the Online Fraud Charter.

“The fact the scheme will be certified by UKAS-accredited organisations and meets a set of independent criteria gives citizens across the UK piece of mind that those job boards involved are committed to protecting people looking for work across the UK.”

Tim Boswell, Senior Director at Madgex says: “Collaborating with JobsAware to empower our clients in enhancing their online recruitment platform and safeguarding job seekers is a source of immense pride for Madgex.

“Keeping the jobseeker at the forefront has been the cornerstone of our company’s ethos since our establishment in 2000. In today’s climate, the significance of protecting worker rights cannot be overstated, and we whole-heartedly endorse JobsAware’s mission.””

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, says: “Businesses and workers often have to face difficulties with online recruitment which is why I’m pleased to see an industry-led solution that will deal with these challenges.

“This scheme will incentivise businesses to follow the rules they have set and give workers the confidence to use recruitment sites, helping to create the strong labour market the country needs to deliver economic growth.

“In addition, the government is making it easier to do business by ensuring rules and regulations are proportionate as well as considering wider impacts on consumers, innovation and competition.”

Written by

Tim Mitchell

In partnership with