The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.
Individuals registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.
In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible.
This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.
Action Fraud have issued guidelines on how to protect yourself:
- 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.