The REC has been made aware by one of our members of a potential scam against recruitment agencies

Filed under Update

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


In summary, a supposed “client” contacts an agency with an assignment and informs the recruiters that they know of a contractor that they would like to take on to do the work. Alternatively, a contractor may call you shortly after you have spoken to the “client”. When the contractor starts to do the work, the agency may be left in a situation where they have paid the contractor but not received any payment from the supposed client. When agencies subsequently try to follow up with the contact at the client organisation they find that there is no trace of them or the contractor.


This is not the first time that this kind of scam has manifested itself and we are urging our members to be cautious. The REC’s advice is to always ensure that you check the legitimacy of a client as much as possible by meeting the client at the client premises. 


Also, ensure that you carry out appropriate checks on candidates e.g. identity and reference checks. Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and on this occasion it would seem that the ‘due diligence’ had been carried out.


Due to the scale of recruitment fraud there is a recruitment industry counter-fraud organisation - SAFER (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment)SAFERjobs is a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation designed to support job seekers, agency staff, and contractors with any suspected fraud, malpractice, breach of legislation, or poor experience they may encounter. SAFERjobs is supported by the DWP, BEIS, Metropolitan Police, and other government and industry organisations.


The compliance team at REC is going to look at how we can directly support our members by sharing information via our extensive network and we shall keep you updated.  In the meantime you have fallen victim to a scam please contact SAFER.  On their instruction we can advertise this particular fraud on our website and either email members in the region/sector who may be exposed.


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