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Understanding the impact of job scams

22 November 2021

As part of their latest job scams campaign, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has been working with JobsAware and Cifas, to understand the impact of scams, and how information collected as part of a scam, is then used by scammers.

Signs of a potential job scam

Job scams are on the rise, and in 2020, seasonal job scams increased by 88% compared to 2019. With figures predicted to increase again this year, it’s important to remain vigilant and familiarise yourself with the signs of a potential job scam or fraudulent job advert.

The first two phases of this campaign focused on the signs of a potential scam, and as detailed below, included illegitimate contact details, poorly-written job adverts, and being asked for money.

Identity fraud

Alongside highlighting the importance of remaining vigilant, and raising awareness of signs of potential scams, we’re now looking at how information collected as part of a job scam can be used by scammers, and this includes identity fraud.

85% of identity fraud is committed via online channels, and Cifas members recorded almost 158,000 cases of identity fraud in the first nine months of 2021. Not only is this an increase of 17% compared to 2020, but this is equivalent to one person every 2.5 minutes.

Mike Haley, Cifas CEO, said: “The pandemic created numerous opportunities for criminals to steal victims’ personal and financial details, including through fake online job adverts. Personal information is extremely valuable to criminals as they can use a victim’s details to impersonate them and apply for products and services such as bank accounts, loans, and credit cards.

Always take a moment to stop and think before handing over your personal or financial information, or when sharing documents such as a passport, driving licence, or bank statement.”

Case studies

Case study one: Finchley applied for a job that was posted online, and was asked to pay for a DBS check as part of the process. Upon paying for the DBS check, communication stopped, and Finchley realised he had been the victim of a scam.

Case study two: Naomi came across a job on an online job board, and as part of the application, provided her name, address, and a variety of scanned documents. She was then asked for money, and when she refused, communication stopped.

The full case studies can be found here

What to do if you think you have fallen victim to a job scam

If you suspect you have been targeted, or have been the victim of a job scam, there are a number of ways to report this, including via the JobsAware portal. They will investigate and take further action if necessary. If you have parted with money as part of a suspected job scam, please contact the police and they will take the matter further.

Further information can also be found on Cifas’ website.

Who are JobsAware and Cifas?

JobsAware is a not-for-profit organisation that informs people of how to avoid and report job scams and other unfair working practices. More information about their work can be found on the JobsAware website.

Cifas is a not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation that manages a database of fraudulent conduct. Members of Cifas include organisations across all sectors, who share their data to reduce instances of fraud and financial crime. More information can be found on the Cifas website.

Further information

For more information from Cifas, please contact:

Matt Pearson, Press & PR Manager, Cifas
+44 (0)20 4551 7956

For more details on the campaign, or to speak to Dr Suzanne Smith of DBS, or Keith Rosser of JobsAware, please use the details below.

  • Dr Suzanne Smith:
  • Keith Rosser:
Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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