JobsAware is chaired by Keith Rosser, APSCo’s chair of the Compliance+ committees for Education and Social Work and board advisor to the recently launched government initiative The Better Hiring Institute.
JobsAware is concerned by the growing impact of fraud in the sector and has highlighted how to tackle the issue. According to JobsAware there are two types of fraud presently affecting staffing companies and workers;
- Contractor Fraud – where a fictitious or fraudulent company requests a recruitment firm to employ and pay a specific contractor for work, who turns out to be a fake contractor.
- Impersonation Fraud – where a fraudulent individual or group of individuals advertises fake jobs, often via social media, in the name of a legitimate recruitment consultancy, or uses a name very similar to a legitimate recruiter or umbrella company with the ultimate goal of defrauding work-seekers.
Recruitment firms can take steps to protect themselves including:
- Conducting credit checks on suppliers/contractors and strictly adhering to the credit limits imposed on them
- Check whether a company has lots (more than 200) credit enquiries against their name in one month – this can be a red flag
- Flag trends in high-value timesheets – fraudulent contractors will often attempt to claim as many hours as they can
- Enforce a checking process on suppliers/contractors which includes checking their company is registered on Companies House
- Look out for companies that are filing Micro Accounts (this could be a red flag)
- Look out for recent changes to website domain names
- Ensure that contractor’s identity documents are genuine
- Check the physical location – look into the addresses they have provided
- Check whether the bank details match those of the contractor/supplier
- Ask all suppliers to provide a landline number – these are harder to hide behind
- Check that company email addresses are from the correct company (impersonators may use an email address that is very similar to a legitimate company)
- Consider using a digital verification platform to cross-check these details and reduce the risk of being affected
If a member thinks they have been impacted by either of these types of fraud, they should take the following steps to report it:
- Report to JobsAware via their reporting function – jobsaware.co.uk/report
- Send any evidence of phishing emails pertaining to be legitimate recruitment firms to [email protected] – this is a UK GOV service designed to act against phishing emails and text messages
- For Contractor Fraud specifically: Report to Action Fraud using the “NFIB9 business trading fraud” category - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
- For Impersonation Fraud specifically: Report to Action Fraud using the “NFIB1H advanced fee fraud” category - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/