📢 Attention candidates! 🚨 SCAM WARNING 🚨
sadly in the uk and worldwide we have over the past few years seen a increase in scams targeting job seekers. Here is a checklist of areas that should give you a red flag.
first, always remember a Recruitment Agency who supports companies in finding permanent workers, will not ask for your ID or national insurance number or bank details. They are only the middle person, you need to provide ID to the company at interview stage and bank details on onboarding day. Keep your data safe.
Here is a checklist of some red flags:
- whatsapp message that is out of context or not engaging. A good recruiter will want to engage with you, if you get a whatsapp out of the blue that is strange and cold in language, it could be a scam
- Most good agents will email you to let you know they have sent a whatsapp, this means you can cross reference this
- All good agents will want key functions to be via email, for example cv sending. This is for 2 reasons. first reason is to link to the crm and the other reason is agents can protect your data better this way, under GDPR rules
- All good agents will give you a office phone number to call, if you only get a mobile number, this should be a red flag.
- background noise. you can normally spot a good agent, as the background sounds like a sales office with a buzz. if you can hear kids in the background or a starbucks coffee shop sound, this should give a red flag.
- Email, all interview details will be via email with any good recruiters. they need to keep records of this and 99% of crm systems recruiters use will send a email to you.
- check the email address, this will give you a red flag. a recruiter will never use a gmail account
- check the company and recruiter linkedin account. if they are not using linkedin or the company is not, that is a massive red flag. A good recruiter will put posts up on a regular basis.
- A recruiter who acts on behalf of a company will not need your NI number or bank details. They are not the employer and will not need this. Provide this in person to your new employer.
- If a interview is not inperson with the hiring company and they want this detail via email, that is a red flag. A new law came out in October 2022 that meant that ID needs to be checked either in person or using a ID checking system prior to starting a job.
- A recruiter will never need to use any software to be downloaded.
- Recruiters in the uk are covered by the recruitment act 1973 and 2010. They can not charge for services, the only charge they can charge is for admin of a CV etc.
- Remember the old saying, if a job is to good to be true, it probably is. If a company is paying well over the average or something does not sound 100% right, so often your gut feeling is right.
- check the agent has a website, check they list the company phone number, a address and also the company reg number. this can be cross referenced onto companies house website to check they are still trading and not a fake company
- If your unsure, google the company and find the phone number linked to the website. If you are not sure about a whatsapp message, phone the google landline number for the office. landlines always start with a 01 or 02 number in the UK.
- Do not mass apply for jobs, check you know the recruiter name prior to sending your cv. All good recruiters will have a website listing the jobs that you can cross reference.
A quick summary: Always cross reference by calling back on the landline number advertised not on the whatsapp message, cross reference to linkedin and the company website. Never send a recruiter your bank details or NI number. A recruiter will not need this
Big red flags:
- a company without a office number, for example starting with a 01 or 02 number
- a recruiter without a website
- a recruiter using a gmail email address and not a email linked to the website address
- a recruiter without a linkedin account, that is active and plenty of engaging posts
- a recruitment agency who does not put at the bottom of adverts about the privacy statement, declaring they are acting as a recruitment agency (legal requirement)
- A recruiter who needs your bank details, the employment is with the company, you give this on the 1st day, in person.
- a recruiter who uses a personal whatsapp and not a company one
It so important to trust who you are giving your data to. Following these key steps will help keep your data safe. All good agencies will have policies in place and they will monitor recruiters to keep your data safe. These red flags are basic red flags, but really easy ones to spot. You would not walk into a shop without a name above the door and just hand over your details. In same way you should not engage with someone without a website, using a office, to hand over your details. Sadly there are scammers targeting the job seeker, all good agencies are aware of this and put steps in place to help you spot it. Always if your unsure, google the recruitment agency number, cross check this with the website and call that number. never just trust the number on whatsapp