Being out of work is tough, and people who are looking for a job are easy prey for criminals and fraudsters who try to exploit their situation. A growing trend is that of the “fake DBS check”, which can take a couple of different forms and for which job seekers should be on the lookout.

Job Exists, But Doesn’t Require DBS Checks

One of the less common scams is for employers or agencies to tell job seekers that the job they are applying for requires DBS checks to be carried out, either at a basic or enhanced level. The employer then asks the applicant to pay them a fee to cover the costs of having the DBS check done, which is often considerably more than the cost of doing any checks. The employer simply pockets the money, tells the applicant that their DBS check was fine, and then allows them to start work. Applicants can guard against being caught up in this type of scam by finding out whether the type of role they are applying for requires any level of DBS checking. In very simple terms, jobs working with children or vulnerable adults in schools, hospitals or other settings might require DBS checking, as do jobs in law enforcement or the Police. People who are applying to work in offices or factories or in catering, hotels or bars will not require a full police check. There is lots of guidance and information online about the types of jobs which are covered if you are unsure.

Job Doesn’t Even Exist

Unfortunately, there are some scammers targeting job seekers with offers of jobs which don’t even exist. These scammers have one aim – to extract as much money from applicants as possible. They may ask for processing fees, administration fees, signing on fees, training fees and for applicants to pay for their own DBS check too. They may say that they are recruiting for healthcare or education, or some other role which does demand workers be DBS checked, but it is just another money-making exercise. The growth in internet job adverts has made the scammers’ job a lot easier, as anyone can register with a job site and post an advert. Always take care when applying for a job, and remember the adage that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Google searches on names, email addresses and phone numbers can be very revealing.

Safe Job Searching

The easiest way to avoid falling victim to the scammers is to stick to reputable sources for your job adverts. Large employment agencies with several branches will have a range of opportunities, press adverts in national papers or on well-known recruitment websites will be safer than adverts on Gumtree or in the local press. Always be suspicious if an employer asks you for money up front, and if you are asked to pay anything, clarify exactly what it is for and get a receipt when paying. Rely on your common sense – if it feels wrong, it is probably best to walk away.