Police are warning residents about recruitment scams after one Watford resident lost £10,000.
Since the start of November last year, it is estimated that 15 residents across Hertfordshire have lost a total of £43,015 to fraudulent job opportunities, with further victims in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Stevenage, Borehamwood and Potters Bar.
Fraudsters target those on the hunt for employment by posting fake opportunities on social media websites, or even through directly messaging victims via text or WhatsApp.
Once they have begun interacting with their victim, the fraudsters may ask for a payment to take the job application forward or bank details to set up salary payments. Once they have this, they can access the victim’s bank account.
Fraud triage manager Julian Griffiths said: “If you receive an exciting job opportunity sent directly to you via social media, you should proceed with caution, especially if you haven’t been actively looking for a job. It’s unusual for employment agencies to ask prospective candidates to pay fees, so if this happens, make sure you thoroughly research the agency or employer.”
Other tips include:
- Check any messages for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
- Check the official records to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does, contact the organisation directly through officially listed contact details to confirm the job offer is genuine.
- Tell the employer that you will make your own travel and accommodation arrangements if necessary. Beware if they try hard to dissuade you or tell you that you have to use the agency they refer you to.
- Beware if the employer or agent provides what appears to be a personal email address such as @yahoo or @hotmail as a point of contact.