There are now 88 job boards and recruitment companies signed up to SAFER jobs – a multi-agency organisation set up by the Metropolitan Police in order to combat employment fraud.
SAFER jobs was created by the Met’s Fraud and Linked Crime Online (FALCON) unit in 2008 in an effort to stem reports of bogus employers defrauding innocent people out of hundreds of pounds under the guise of offering paid work.
Since this time it has grown to become a registered charity working jointly with the private and public sector.
Supported by the Department of Work and Pensions, City of London Police and other government and industry organisations, it works by promoting information on what people should look out for when applying for jobs, including any red flags that may indicate that their supposed employer is not legitimate.
It also shares information directly with job boards and recruitment companies to encourage a safer job search.
Interestingly, a spike in 2015-16 of 1,068 offences has since fallen to 792 reported offences in 2016-17; a 26% drop in actual offences in part due to the preventative work of SAFER Jobs.
Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, who leads the Met’s FALCON unit, commented, “The Met is committed to working in collaboration with external partners to protect people from becoming victims of fraud. The work of SAFER Jobs is a prime example of this aspiration being realised; fraud can have a significant impact on those people who find themselves suffering at the hands of callous and cruel offenders.
“Employment fraud is a crime that exploits an individual’s desire to find paid work. The impact is not only financial but also psychological after their relief of finding what they believe to be honest employment is shattered and they have had to pay for the opportunity. We see its effects. SAFER Jobs can and will continue to do more to prevent this from happening and empower more people to know what to look out for when searching for work.”
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