SAFERjobs was set up by the Metropolitan Police and is now a Community Interest Company aimed at protecting job seekers, supporting recruitment companies, and offering general advice to agency workers and people looking for work. They have a Patron at the House of Lords, an MP supporting the campaign and backing from DWP and BEIS. They are supported by DWP at a senior level (www.gov.uk/jobsearch/).
Who are SAFERjobs?
SAFERjobs is a non-profit organisation created by the Metropolitan Police to tackle the growth in job scams exploiting vulnerable job seekers. In the last 12 months over 700,000 people have visited the website for free advice reporting over £0.5m in potential fraud – which may be just the tip of the iceberg. SAFERjobs has prevented over £0.25m in fraud in the last 12 months and this is growing all the time. Recently, SAFERjobs has appeared in the Daily Mail, Independent, Daily Mirror, Financial Times, National (Scotland) and on the BBC. SAFERjobs is a joint initiative with DWP, BEIS, law enforcement and industry. Our partners include National Crime Agency, City of London Police, National Trading Standards, Crimestoppers, the REC, and Cyber Streetwise. SAFERjobs share intelligence with law enforcement, government regulators of the recruitment sector, and job boards and recruiters to remove fake ads and enable government-led prosecution of companies who exploit workers.
They currently work with 30 major UK job boards, around 20 colleges and university career sites, and many large recruitment companies.
What is the Issue?
Fraud exists in multiple guises: fake jobs aimed at defrauding job seekers (recent Action Fraud research found that the average job scam costs individuals £4000), recruitment companies falsifying information to defraud organisations (and within healthcare endanger vulnerable people), and recruitment companies defrauding agency staff. A recent study of 12,000 job seekers found:
- 72.1% of job hunters admit they do not know and would not recognise the signs of a job scam
- 71.3% of workers would assume that any job posted online is a legitimate posting from a real business
- 33.7% of student job seekers feel vulnerable when job searching
- 41.9% of students admit they do not know the signs of a scam; of those targeted, almost half (46.7%) suffered financial loss parting up to £2600
- 71.5% of job hunters think scammers target those looking for their first job BUT only 17% of students agree with that with 82.4% of students believing they are not being targeted
- 72.3% of students do not feel enough is being done to prevent scams and 82.9% revealed they were not offered advice from their college or university.
What does the Industry Say?
A recent news item in the recruitment trade press earlier this week covered research which showed:
- 8 out of 10 recruiters think more should be done to prevent this issue
- 56% of recruiters believe job scams and job-related fraud are now a big issue facing the sector.
How can you stay safe in your job search?
To stay safe in your job search we recommend that you visit SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation working to combat job scams. Visit the SAFERjobs website for information on common scams and to get free, expert advice for a safer job search.