According to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), job scams are on the rise.
DBS reports that in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, seasonal job scams were up by a dramatic 88% compared to the previous year – and figures are expected to have increased again by the end of 2021.
DBS says it has highlighted “the importance of remaining vigilant, and raising awareness of the signs of potential scams”. Now, it says it is concentrated on “how information collected as part of a job scam can be used by scammers, and this includes identity fraud”.
The DBS reports that 85% of identity fraud is committed online, and Cifas (the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System) members have recorded almost 158,000 cases from the start of 2021 up until the end of September.
This is the equivalent to one person scammed every two and a half minutes.
Cifas CEO, Mike Haley, said:
“The [has] 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 license or bank statement.”
The DBS says that to spot the signs of a job scam, you should be aware of:
- Illegitimate companies or emails
- Poorly written job adverts
- Suspicious contact details
- Unrealistic salaries
- Job offers without an interview
- Being asked for money
If you believe that you may be the victim of a job scam, the DBS says you can report this through the JobsAware portal, and your concern will be investigated with potential further action if necessary.
However, if you have given money away as part of a suspected scam, report this to the police who will take the matter further, says the DBS.
Further information can be found on the Cifas website.
By William Hallowell