Published on 4th December 2023
Scammers have found a new target. Job seekers are being contacted by individuals impersonating well-known staffing firms or job boards, and the offer is always tempting: a few hours of work for a a generous salary. The trick is they ask jobseekers to make an upfront payment to cover a permit or other service, with a promise to be repaid. Naturally, the money never comes back, and there is no job. The scam has already squeezed an estimated €100 million from thousands of victims around the world, according to AI cybersecurity firm CloudSEK.
Not only are jobseekers harmed, but the scam risks the professional and ethical reputation of legal and legitimate staffing firms, many of whom are members of the World Employment Confederation (WEC).
“No WEC member would ever charge directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, any fees or costs to jobseekers and workers, for the services directly related to temporary assignment or permanent placement,” affirms Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation. “Respect for free-of-charge provision of services to job seekers is one of the ten principles in our Code of Conduct. As the global trade association representing the HR services industry, we stand for ethical, quality and professional services and condemn such scamming practices.”
International Ethical Standards
The prohibition of charging recruitment fees or costs to workers by private employment agencies is also a foundational rule enshrined in Convention 181 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the international standard regulating private employment services.
If it’s too good to be true…
A legit staffing firm or job board will never ask a job seeker to pay a fee in exchange for a work assignment. If you encounter such a request, it is a scam. Do not accept the offer it and report the suspected fraud to the relevant authorities.