Whereas seasoned professionals contracting as Umbrella Company Employees may have acquired reliable radar for detecting hoax job openings, their greener counterparts may need to take heed of the dangers of fake job adverts after a recent scam was uncovered by BBC Radio Three.
Organisations hosting job ads are being urged by UK’s fraud prevention service, CIFAS, to verify the authenticity of the jobs on offer after fictitious security vacancies were advertised on the aggregator indeed.co.uk. Job seekers were fraudulently asked to pay an upfront “administration fee” of £200, ostensibly to cover charges for criminal records checks.
More commonly, fake job scams ask applicants to transfer funds to third parties from their own bank accounts – a front for money laundering, according to Richard Hurley, Communications Manager at CIFAS. He urged local papers, jobs portals and jobs boards to do more to verify the authenticity of jobs before advertising them.
In the case of the Luton scam, candidates, too, can safeguard themselves: a quick phone call to the Airport’s HR Department would have quickly revealed that the security jobs were non-existent.
Organisations hosting jobs should be alerted immediately if the ad requires jobseekers to send cash or a cheque to the employer’s own bank account, Hurley advised, as they should have legitimate business accounts. Basic checks should also include verification of employer contact details, including address, telephone number, website and email address, and establishing that the firm is registered in the UK.
As many hoaxsters are based offshore and are not fully familiar with the English language, misspellings, grammatical errors and strange phraseology could also be warning signs, Hurley advised.