This is useful information for people when they are looking for work online and the possible scams they might encounter. It includes practical advice about job searching online and also what to do if you think you have encountered anything ‘dodgy’.
Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment (SAFERJobs) was set up by the Metropolitan Police in 2010 and provides free, expert advice to job seekers during (or after) the job search in order to prevent the growing issue of job scams. In 2014 The Daily Telegraph listed job scams as one of the top ten scams to watch out for.
- is a voluntary, non-profit organisation that does not charge for any service. SAFERjobs is a public and private sector partnership campaigning against the rise of job scams in the UK.
- website informs job seekers of current job scams in operation and run a free service where job seekers can report suspected (or actual) fraud and receive free advice on how to proceed.
- their committee includes the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police, the main recruitment trade associations, a selection of job boards and recruitment companies.
How does it work?
Job seekers can get information on how to stay safe during the job search as well as contacting SAFERjobs to ask for assistance during the job search, or to report fraud after the event. Where the scam report is received before fraud has occurred, SAFERjobs will advise the job seeker on how to stay safe. Where the scam report is after the fraud has taken place, SAFERjobs will follow this up and respond to the job seeker.
The benifits are as follows:
- Free expert advice service backed by law enforcement and government.
- The knowledge that their case will be picked up and investigated. Even where a prosecution may not be possible, at least the caller knows their report is investigated, alerts sent out & contact by a trade association or a government body.
- Consumer education - helping to prevent fraud and illegal activity.
When signposting people to SAFERjobs think of the website as a free, expert source of information to help ensure job seekers stay safe in the job search. The report fraud function enables job seekers worried about a current situation to get expert advice on how to continue. People who have already succumbed to a job scam can report information in order for the relevant parties to be informed and action to be taken, even if that action is to create further advice to prevent future job seekers falling victim to the scam.
When job searching:
- Never Part with Money – employers should pay you, not the other way round. If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, research the job, the company, and never use any associated company suggested to you without conducting independent thorough research;
- Never Take it on Face Value – have you received an ‘out of the blue’, ‘too good to be true’ job offer? Be sceptical and ask questions. Why and how have you been contacted, what is the job, did you apply? Be wary of any non-business, generic email address (such as hotmail and yahoo), poorly written job adverts or job descriptions, and emails or contact at unusual times of the day (unless pre-arranged).
- Never Do Everything Online – whilst technology is a great enabler to help people find work, at some point your job discussion should lead to an interview or a meeting. Hiring agents who keep the relationship solely to email must be treated extremely cautiously.
- Never Fail to do Research – find out about the company that the job is with and do your research! Check landline telephone numbers and call the end employer to check the job exists. Use social media and sources such as Companies House and LinkedIn to dig deeper into the organisations and people you are interacting with.
- Never Phone them for an Interview – premium rate phone scams are common. This is where an individual calls a pay-for number thinking it’s an interview, when actually they are paying for every minute they stay on hold. If an employer wants you to work for them, they will call you.
- Never Accept Money for Nothing – with money mule scams on the increase, beware of any employer promising ‘get rich quick’ or ‘earn thousands working from home’. When cheques begin arriving it is easy to be fooled into being used as a money mule.
- Never Provide Personal Details – be suspicious of any requests for personal data ahead of an interview or registration meeting (if any agency). Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.
Clients can access the SAFERjobs website.