December 2nd 2016
The UK has experienced a significant rise in the number of job scams over the past two years, according to SAFERjobs (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment).
The number of scams reported to the non-profit fraud fighting organisation have risen a staggering 300% in the last year alone; 380 reports were made between September 2014 and September 2015, but jumped to an alarming 1,241 between the same period this year. 138 alone were received in October 2016.
The most frequently reported cases of job scams in the UK involve advance fee fraud, in which candidates apply for fake jobs which do not exist, and are scammed into paying for fake police checks, visas, travel and training, which are not required. Other common scams include identity theft, premium rate telephone interview scams, and money laundering through work-from-home jobs.
To give the organisation further weight and flexibility in responding to the growing threat of job scams, as well as unlocking additional funding and partnership options, SAFERjobs has just become an incorporated company. An important milestone for the organisation, the move coincides with a significant growth in membership. SAFERjobs now works with all of the UK’s top ten job boards, and half of the top 30, giving it further weight in the battle against job scams.
Chairman of SAFERjobs, Keith Rosser, commented: “The sharp increase in the number of scams over the past two years has been dramatic, and reflects just how sophisticated and determined criminals have become. The incorporation of SAFERjobs, and our continuing partnership with all of the UK’s top job boards, will allow us to tackle the problem of job scams with the weight and authority it requires.”
Damian Hinds MP, the Minister of State for Employment, added: “No job seeker deserves to fall victim to a scam that could see them lose hundreds of pounds, so it’s vital that people do all they can to stay safe while looking for work online.
“There are plenty of genuine opportunities in the labour market right now – around 750,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time – so it’s important that people learn to recognise the tell-tale signs of a fake job advert. We are working hard to raise awareness and educating the public on the potential risk facing job seekers, and combatting the fraudsters directly.”
Created by the Metropolitan Police in 2008, SAFERJobs works with investigative and enforcement agencies prevent and disrupt criminal activity, and actively leads the widespread sharing of experiences, giving much greater visibility to any threats encountered. SAFERjobs investigates any situation reported by a job seeker about a potential scam, and will provide impartial advice on how to proceed. Working closely with law enforcement and trusted bodies such as Get Safe Online and Action Fraud, SAFERjobs guides candidates on how to resolve pay and rights issues, as well as deal with any complaints regarding the recruitment industry.
For advice on how to avoid being a victim of a job scam, or to report an incident, visit the SAFERjobs website at: https://www.safer-jobs.com/.