Employment fraud

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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]

Signs of fraud[edit]

A fraudulent offer may include a company name or logo along with requests for personal information, such as passport and bank details.

Types of fraud[edit]

Recruitment fraud[edit]

This type of fraud involves persons misrepresenting themselves as employees of a particular company and acting on its behalf to offer a fictitious job opportunity. This type of fraud is generally conducted through the internet.

Advertising fraud[edit]

Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities that lures 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 frauds.[3]

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. This leads them to believe the check has cleared although the check is fake. It can take weeks to uncover the fraud.[4] They then send the money via the wire transfer service either back to the sender or to 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 handled. The companies turn out to be a front for illegal activity, implicating the victim in the crime.[citation needed]

Guaranteed employment/income scams[edit]

The victim is guaranteed a certain income or employment. To get this they first have to buy something like a business plan, start-up materials or software. They may be asked to pay to be put on a directory to "guarantee" jobs.[5] This is merely a way to get the victim to spend money – no job awaits.[citation needed]

Multi-level marketing[edit]

People selling through a multi-level marketing scheme earn a commission on the sales of those they recruit, as well as on their direct sales. Some multi-level marketing schemes, like Tupperware, can be legitimate businesses. However 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 heavily on useless training materials. Some multi-level marketing schemes may require money from the victim to join.[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. The scammer takes the money and vanishes.[6]

International Trade[edit]

Crime and fraud are an increasing threat to businesses who operate within the international trade sector. Fraud is defined as deceit for financial profit, and costs the UK an estimated £110 billion annually.[7] The main threat to international traders is from organised crime, including the theft of goods or business identity, cross-border crime and road-freight crime. Other risks include infringement of intellectual property or employee fraud.[8]

Online trading developed a new platform for criminal activity, such as new ways of laundering money. Businesses that do international trade under the EU are able to rely on shared laws and commercial procedures to protect them. them.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Employment Fraud Law and Legal Definition | USLegal, Inc". definitions.uslegal.com. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  2. ^ "Job Scams". US Federal Trade Commission. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  3. ^ "False Advertising". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  4. ^ "Mystery Shopper Scams". Consumer Information. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  5. ^ "Job Scams". Consumer Information. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2019-08-29.
  6. ^ "Fraud Act: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service". Cps.gov.uk. 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  7. ^ Copper, Christopher (2018-05-21). "Fraud epidemic costs the UK £110bn annually: report". www.internationalinvestment.net. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  8. ^ "Investigations and enforcement: what we do, our outcomes and complaints". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2019-09-06.