How can agencies help to address scams and raise awareness among jobseekers

31 Oct 2017


A Recruiter magazine survey showed that eight in ten recruiters believe more should be done to tackle the issue of job scams, which can impact on employers, agencies and individual jobseekers. Proactively combatting these scams is the core aim of SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation.

How can job scams be addressed?

Fraud exists in multiple guises, including fake jobs aimed at defrauding individual job seekers by charging them for job-finding services. Recent research by Action Fraud found that the average job scam costs individuals £4000 which underlines the importance of raising awareness amongst job-seekers.

SAFERjobs was set up by the Metropolitan Police and is supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as well as by industry bodies like the REC. SAFERjobs advised over 0.75m job seekers last year and prevented over £0.5m in fraud. As well as protecting individuals, the aim is to ensure that recruiters avoid becoming victims of fraud, and agencies are encouraged to report scams and criminal activities they experience or hear about from jobseekers.

How can industry work with government to drive the agenda?

The recent ‘Rip-Off Britain’ programme focused on online jobs scams and underlined the impact they can have on people’s lives. Finding the right job is crucial to people’s well-being which is why addressing scams and fake jobs posted online is crucial. The message from Employment Minister Damian Hinds is that the industry must work with government to drive this agenda.

As well as supporting SAFERjobs, the REC will continue to play its role in raising awareness of what to look for in a compliant agency through the REC/DWP Partnership Agreement and our worker fact sheets. We will also continue to use the Good Recruitment Campaign to promote good practice in how employers manage their recruitment supply chains.

What’s next?

The aim of SAFERjobs is to complement the work of professional bodies like the REC to drive industry standards and ensure that the right regulatory and enforcement provisions are in place. An important first step is to continue raising awareness amongst job-seekers and the recruitment sector. Addressing scams and rogue practices is a shared agenda between government departments and industry and is crucial to protecting the interests of workers and compliant agencies. For more information on signing up to SAFERjobs, please visit:

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