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  • Rob Wilks

Beware! The latest fraudulent schemes blighting the recruitment sector

Fraudsters and organised crime have blighted the recruitment industry just like any other. Much of this in recent years has focused on fake clients engaging fake workers and accruing debt with the recruiter which is never recoverable. Whilst most of this activity is identified and prevented, the sheer scale of it means some will inevitably succeed. If a brand new, unknown client, rings you out of the blue with 20 vacancies, stop and ask yourself, “Is this too good to be true?”. In most cases it is…

The most recent version of this fraud focuses on more elaborate disguise. Many now use the same terminology and structure that recruiters are familiar with; it is often an ‘internal recruiter’ that is getting in touch for example. They also purport to being large projects, often backed by rich foreign investors, a consortium of which have just been put together. Whilst these undoubtedly exist, looking a little closer can often heighten suspicions. In one recent case, the company was very young and had posted significant increases in profits from year one to two (suspicious in itself), but the fact that the numbers posted in the accounts were all round numbers really raised the red flag. And this is the thing, small companies don’t have to post audited accounts and can therefore illegally falsify them. Watch out!

But the latest fraud shamefully targets unwitting workers themselves. The concept of this fraud focuses on an individual identifying a newly advertised role – they will then impersonate both the recruiter (to a worker, having re-advertised the role themselves) and then also the worker (to the recruiter), inserting their own phone number, email and bank details. The real person completes the role, yet the funds (either paid by the recruiter or through an umbrella) end up in the fraudsters bank. This only comes to light when the worker realises the mobile number they were in contact with no longer works and they phone the recruiter’s landline. By then, it is too late.

Clipper Contracting Group are always developing new ways to help prevent fraud in the supply chain. Not only do we have measures to check the bank account details of the individuals we pay, but we have also recently set up a client fraud alert email service – this accrues information about possible fraudulent end-clients in our vast network and sends small alerts to recruiters who choose to sign up.

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