Belfast Telegraph

More action urged to crack down on 'unacceptable' job scams

Low-paid jobseekers are being conned out of hundreds of pounds by being duped into applying for fake work, it has been revealed.

The Government urged recruitment firms to do more to tackle the "rapidly growing" problem of job scams, saying victims are losing up to £500 by paying up-front costs.

One in 10 people looking for work have been caught out by being duped into applying for a fake job, usually those on low income, research shows.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: "It's unacceptable that jobseekers, typically ordinary people on low income, are being targeted by fraudsters.

"Looking for work can be tough enough and even the smallest setback can derail the most promising careers.

"Many of the people affected are just looking to provide for their families, and instead face financial hardship at no fault of their own. I want more of these fraudsters caught and to feel the full extent of the law."

The Government advised people to be suspicious if asked to pay for any security checks or training and said no-one should give personal details such as bank account numbers when applying for a job.

Keith Rosser, chairman of the SAFERjobs campaign to tackle recruitment fraud, said fake job offers included being asked to pay for visas or insurance, or a work from home scam conning people into money laundering.

A report was also published warning rogue employers they face jail under a Government crackdown on exploitation in the workplace.

Sir David Metcalf, the director of Labour Market Enforcement, said in his introductory report that he wanted to ensure that supply firms in the fashion, construction and cleaning sectors were not breaching labour laws.

"Tackling labour market abuses is an important priority for the Government and I am encouraged it has committed record funds to cracking down on exploitation," he said.

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