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15 February 2015, 06:21
Capital's told criminals are taking advantage of students looking for jobs, with an increase in a type of crime called job seeker fraud.
...and it's going up in the East Midlands.
Job seeker fraud is where a fake recruitment agency asks for money up front for admin or accommodation costs for a job that doesn't actually exist.
Most victims are aged between 18 and 25.
Detective Constable Julie Wheeldon is from the East Midlands Fraud Investigation Unit:
'Employment fraud occurs when a fraudster claims to be a recruitment agency or a company, that doesn’t exist, wishing to hire you for a job. The agency or company will then request fees for administration or for accommodation arrangements should the job be overseas. In reality the job doesn't exist.
'Employers should pay you, not the other way round.'
Never part with money: If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, you should 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. Be wary of any non-business, generic email addresses (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.
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 an agency). Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.