Watch out for recruitment scams!

Written by Lisa Cranfield, Careers Consultant

Students and graduates have recently been falling prey to recruitment scams from bogus recruitment companies/businesses, so keep your wits about you when looking for work in the UK and overseas.  Fraudsters may try to obtain your personal and banking details or request money to secure accommodation following a bogus interview and job offer. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have received reports where students are encountering scams when registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website.

So how can you spot a scam and protect yourself? Action Fraud has issued these guidelines:

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same – if they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.

What to do if you’re a victim:

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.
  • If you have been affected by this or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.