Scams are nothing new. Scammers however have to be constantly one step ahead of the game and come up with new ways of parting people from their money. One of the most recent scams is around fleecing prospective job candidates, asking them to apply for a DBS Check which just doesn’t exist.
Clever Scam – Be On Your Guard
The scam works in this way: an applicant sees a job advertised and applies online or in writing. The job may or may not exist. They are told that in order to start work, they need a DBS Check, and that they’ll have to pay a fee. The scammer pockets the fee, and tells the applicant that their check was fine, without ever having applied through the DBS system. This scam is fairly clever as it relies on some truth. It is certainly true that some jobs need a DBS check. It’s also true that some companies will ask applicants to pay for their DBS checks, and that’s not illegal either. So, it’s easy to see how people get caught out with this new DBS check scam.
Know The Rules
Usually, it’s easy to work out whether you’re applying for a job which requires a DBS check. Most often, DBS checks are needed for people working in healthcare, education, or finance jobs. If you’re already working in the sector, you’ll probably already have a working idea of which jobs need DBS checks and which don’t. Large market sectors don’t require a DBS check at all. For example, it’s very unusual for retail, catering or office jobs to fall into the definition of the jobs which require a DBS check. So, if you’re applying for a job in a sector where criminal records checks aren’t the norm, and a recruiter is asking for a hefty fee, alarm bells should start ringing.
Where’s My Certificate?
The other part of the scam hinges on a misunderstanding about the DBS check, and how the process works. If you’ve worked in sectors in the past which need DBS checks you’ll be familiar with the standard process of filling in the application, showing your ID documents and then waiting for the certificate to turn up in the post. If that’s not what’s happening, then question why. Some companies may indeed use their own forms or have their own methods for checking ID documents. But they can’t get around the fact that certificates are sent out in the post.
Help – I’ve Been Scammed!
If you’ve been scammed, then getting your money back might be difficult. Dodgy companies or recruiters who are taking money under false pretences should be reported to the Police, or the local Trading Standards department. Many scammers rely on the fact that people are too embarrassed to go to the police or make a fuss about what happened to them. Unfortunately, but not speaking up, you run the risk of letting the scammers continue with their tricks, and con more unsuspecting people out of their money.