A representative of the Metropolitan Police’s FALCON unit, which tackles online crime, has urged contractors currently looking for new job opportunities to be vigilant and key an eye for job scams, which have been on the rise in recent times.

DC Krishan Kapur told an audience at the Recruitment Agency Expo at the London Olympia that SAFERjobs, an employment advice organisation, is receiving around five calls each day from people who suspect they might be the victim of fraudulent activity around prospective jobs and employment.

In his speech, Kapur explained the variety of scams currently out there. One that is particularly pertinent to the contractor community is where a worker is contacted by a fake company that claiming to be looking for contractors.

One tactic used here are disclosure and barring services (DBS) scams, where a fraudster aims to convince a contractor they need to have a DBS test for a job that in reality doesn’t exist. This test can cost anywhere from £60 to £100, and is the creation of a criminal and therefore completely fictitious, going straight into their back pocket never to be seen again.

Identity theft tactics are be targeted at contractors, with detailed questions around personal details, such as passport and account numbers, being requested by crooks.

It never does any harm to be vigilant in your research when looking for your next contract, and ruthless criminals are out there and operating in the space, so be careful.