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13 November 2015

Shell warns candidates of fake recruiters

Shell is warning candidates to look out for fake recruiters trying to lure money from them, as recruitment fraud is on the rise.

The warning comes after Alan Winks was targeted by a fake recruiter. The oil industry worker told the Mirror that he was thrilled when he received an email from what seemed to be Shell in Nigeria. The email was signed by a man who called himself Charles Gbandi. He claimed to be the Head of Human Resources of Shell in Nigeria.

Gbandi said he was offering Winks a job paying a monthly salary of over £10,000. Gbandi proceeded to ask Winks to cover fictional cost for things such as immigration and insurance expanses. He also wrote to him on Shell letter head and had a LinkedIn page seemingly confirming his position. However, there was no dream job waiting for Winks.

“The letters are very convincing,” Winks told the Mirror. “But fortunately I have a contact in Nigeria who warned me that the email address and phone number were fake, as was the official-looking stamp at the bottom of the letter.

“When I got this job offer I was so glad. I thought it was genuine and that we could have a Christmas this year after all.”

But this is no isolated event. Shell has issued a warning on their website saying that the company is “constantly inundated with emails and queries, seeking confirmation or validity of business propositions made to individuals by people claiming to work for, or are affiliated with Shell Companies in Nigeria.”

The oil company continues to say that Shell will never request any monetary payments from candidates at any stage of the recruitment process.

The statement continues: “Members of the public are hereby strongly advised to note that any communication or correspondence via social media offering business contracts, scholarships, interviews or immediate employment, requesting payment at any point, is fraudulent and does not originate from Shell.

“Anyone who receives these false solicitations is strongly advised to either disregard them in their own best interest, or report to the nearest law enforcement agency.”

Shell’s warning comes as 70,000 jobseekers fall victim to job scams every month, according to SAFERjobs. That is a voluntary organisation that combats and raises awareness of criminal behaviour affecting the recruitment sector.

Keith Rosser is the Chairman at SAFERjobs. He tells Recruitment Grapevine that catching the fake recruiters is becoming increasingly difficult.

Rosser says: “Fraudsters have become a lot more sophisticated in the way they scam the public. They use social networking sites to ‘headhunt’ people who are not even looking for work with the ideal job tailored to the person’s profile.

“Fraudsters use genuine company information and copy genuine ads to place fake jobs on job sites, in newspapers, etc. Fraudsters use a host of third parties to add credibility. For instance, they pass the worker onto another fraudster to run a police check using a credible-looking website or a person pretending to be an immigration lawyer to process visas. All of this makes the process look more realistic.”

Rosser continues that the people between 18 and 24-years old are the people most likely to fall victim to fake recruiters. He explains: “This is because that generation do so much job seeking online, they tend to be looking at part-time work, remote work, or seasonal jobs which are a common target for fraudsters.”

Rosser urges the recruitment industry to promote SAFERjobs to job seekers. Rosser says: “Job boards and recruiters must also ensure they have robust procedures in place for checking validity of the jobs they are advertising. Job boards working with SAFERjobs will also get information about known scams sent to them to enable known fraudulent jobs to be removed from sites.”

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