3 July, 2024
Beware of Recruitment Fraud

Protect Yourself When Seeking Jobs Abroad

In today’s global job market, securing employment in a foreign country can be an exciting and promising venture. However, the allure of international job opportunities has also paved the way for recruitment fraud, a type of employment scam targeting unsuspecting job seekers. Understanding how these scams operate and learning how to protect yourself is crucial to avoiding significant financial and emotional damage.

Understanding Employment Fraud

Employment fraud occurs when scammers pose as recruitment agents, enticing you with job offers—often overseas—that don’t actually exist. This deceptive practice starts with job seekers posting their CVs and personal details on various job websites, hoping to attract genuine employers.

How Recruitment Fraud Works

Here’s a typical scenario illustrating how these scams unfold:

  1. Initial Approach: You receive a message from someone claiming to be an employer or a recruitment agent. They express interest in your CV and inform you that you’re being considered for a position.
  2. Application Stage: You’re asked to fill out a questionnaire and might even have a phone interview. You could be directed to a legitimate-looking website for more details about the job.
  3. Job Offer: You’re eventually told that you’ve secured the job.
  4. Travel and Accommodation Fees: If the job is overseas, the scammers discuss arrangements for travel, accommodation, and visas. They refer you to an agency that appears credible to handle these arrangements for a fee.
  5. Ongoing Payments: After you pay an initial fee (e.g., for visa processing), you’re informed of additional fees (e.g., for accommodation deposits). None of these arrangements are real.
  6. Bank Details: The fraudsters might ask for your bank account details to set up salary payments. Instead, they use these details to steal money from your account.

Recognising the Signs of Employment Fraud

You might be a victim of employment fraud if:

  • You have been contacted by someone claiming to be a recruitment agent offering you a job abroad.
  • You have provided secure personal information over the phone.
  • You have paid money as an administration fee.

What to Do if You’re a Victim

If you suspect you’ve been targeted by employment fraud, take immediate steps to protect yourself:

  1. Stop Communication: Cease all interactions with the ‘agency’ but keep a record of their details and report the incident to Action Fraud.
  2. Alert Your Bank: If you have paid any money, contact your bank immediately.
  3. Notify Job Websites: Inform the operators of the website where you posted your CV that their site is being exploited by scammers.
  4. No More Payments: Don’t send any more money to the scammers. If you have already made payments, let your bank know.

Protecting Yourself from Recruitment Scams

To safeguard yourself from falling prey to recruitment fraud, follow these tips:

  • Examine Documents Carefully: Look for poor spelling and grammar in any documents you receive, as these can be indicators of fraud.
  • Verify Visa Information: Contact the embassy of the country where you’re supposed to work to find out how to obtain a visa and its cost. Compare their information with what the potential employer has provided.
  • Confirm the Employer’s Existence: Use official records to check that the organisation offering the job actually exists. Contact the organisation directly using officially listed contact details to verify the job offer.
  • Arrange Your Own Travel and Accommodation: Inform the employer that you will handle your own travel and accommodation arrangements. Be cautious if they insist on using a specific agency.
  • Be Wary of Webmail Addresses: Exercise caution if the employer or agent uses a generic webmail address such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail.

Identifying Genuine Recruitment Agencies

One way to ensure the legitimacy of a recruitment agency is to check their accreditation status. In the UK, genuine recruitment agencies are often accredited by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). This accreditation signifies that the agency adheres to a code of professional practice and operates with integrity. When considering a recruitment agency, look for REC membership as a mark of reliability. Alternatively check they are registered on Companies House.

Additional Support

For more detailed advice, visit the recruitment industry’s counter-fraud forum website, which offers guidance for both candidates and recruitment professionals.

To learn more about recruitment scams and how to protect yourself, visit the Action Fraud website: Recruitment Scams.

By staying alert and following these guidelines, you can protect yourself from the tricks of recruitment fraudsters and safely pursue your dream job abroad.