Employment fraud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Employment fraud is an attempt to defraud people who are seeking employment by giving them false hope of better employment, often with more favorable hours, better job duties, or higher wages.[1] They often advertise at the same locations as genuine employers and may ask for money in exchange for an opportunity to apply for a job.[2]

Identifying fraudulent and fictitious job offers[edit]

The company name and/or logo may be included on the documentation. There are typically various requests for personal information, such as passport details and bank details.

Examples of fraud[edit]

  • Recruitment fraud. This type of fraud involves persons misrepresenting themselves within a company and acting on behalf of an employer to offer fictitious job opportunities. This type of fraud is generally conducted through the internet across a range of online platforms.
  • Embezzling money.
  • Theft of stock. The perpetrator will over a while absconding with several items from the warehouse, and resell these[3]
  • Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities which lures unsuspecting victims into a situation where, out of desperation or lack of knowledge, they are tricked into committing a crime or become a victim of a crime such as identity theft, embezzlement or similar types of fraud[4]

Types of employment scams[edit]

Mystery shopper[edit]

The victim applies to be a mystery shopper, they are asked to test a money wiring service such as Western Union, and to report back on the experience. The victim receives a check and is told to withdraw the value of the check-in cash to test with; this leads them to believe the check has been cleared when they receive the cash from their bank when the check is fake. It can often take weeks to uncover a fake check,[5] they then send the money via the wire transfer service either back to the origin of the fake check or into some sort of money laundering scheme.[citation needed]

Payment administration[edit]

The victim is asked to handle payments on behalf of an overseas company, earning a fee for every payment handling; the companies turn out to be a front for illegal activity, potentially landing the victim in trouble with the law.[citation needed]

Guaranteed employment/income scams[edit]

The victim is guaranteed a certain level of income or employment. To get this they first have to buy something like a business plan, start-up materials or software, they may also be asked to pay money to be put on a directory to "guarantee" jobs. This is merely a way to get the victim to spend money – there is no job waiting at the end.[citation needed]

Multi-level marketing[edit]

People selling through a multi-level marketing scheme get commission on the sales of those they recruit, as well as on their sales; some multi-level marketing schemes, like selling Tupperware, can be legitimate business models. But some multi-level marketing schemes are pyramid schemes in disguise; the products may be of poor quality, overpriced and hard to sell, or the victim may be asked to spend a great deal of money on completely useless training materials. Some multi-level marketing schemes may require money from the victim to get hired leading to the money going to the top of the company.[citation needed]

Visa/work permits[edit]

A prospective employer overseas says that it will handle the victim's work visa application, but instructs the victim to send money in the guise of processing fees. Again, this will simply result in the scammer taking the money and vanishing.[6]

Employment trends[edit]

Crime and fraud issues in international trade[edit]

Businesses in international trade face a growing threat from crime. Fraud is deceit for financial profit and costs the UK £110 billion annually.[7] Currently the main threat to international traders is fraud from organized crime, including theft of goods or business identity, cross-border crime and road-freight crime. Other risks include infringement of intellectual property or employee fraud;[8] the rise in online trading has created new forms of criminal activity, such as new ways of laundering money. Businesses in the EU can rely on shared laws and commercial procedures to protect them.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Employment Fraud Law & Legal Definition. http://definitions.uslegal.com/e/employment-fraud/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2014].
  2. ^ "Job Scams". US Federal Trade Commission. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  3. ^ Frost, K. (2012). Top ten types of fraud. Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2012/10/09/top-ten-types-fraud-3817034/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2014].
  4. ^ TheFreeDictionary.com, (2014). False Advertising. [online] Available at: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/False+Advertising [Accessed 31 Oct. 2014].
  5. ^ "Mystery Shopper Scams". Consumer Information. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  6. ^ Cps.gov.uk, (2014). Fraud Act: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service. [online] Available at: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/fraud_act/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2014].
  7. ^ Copper, Christopher (2018-05-21). "Fraud epidemic costs the UK £110bn annually: report". www.internationalinvestment.net. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  8. ^ Gov.uk, (2014). Investigations and enforcement: what we do, our outcomes and complaints - GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/insolvency-service-investigations-and-enforcement-what-we-do-our-outcomes-and-complaints [Accessed 29 Oct. 2014].