How to spot recruitment scams in 2024

126 people have lost nearly one million pounds due to recruitment scams in 2023.

Here are our top tips on how to tell genuine recruitment messages and recruitment scams apart!

Increase in recruitment scams

In 2022, a reported number of 15 people admitted to being scammed out of a total of £20,040 according to Action Fraud.

This number increased drastically in 2023.

Where we saw a total of 126 people reported to being scammed, losing out on £977,581.

These scams are commonly happening over text messaging and in particular, the messaging app WhatsApp.

What is a recruitment scam?

Recruitment scams occur when people pose as recruitment consultants.

They create situations where they can target and exploit people by demanding fees.


This might involve:

  • Conducting a fake interview process, sending a fake job offer and then claiming that you must pay for training fees in order to start your new role.
  • Claiming you need to pay for legal costs as part of the recruitment and hiring process. Again, this typically occurs after you have gone through a fake recruitment process.
  • Elaborate schemes that involve asking enough questions to gain sensitive information, so your bank account can be accessed.
  • Installing malware on your device.
  • Convincing you to provide your bank details
Why are these scams so dangerous?

Recruitment scams and job fraud can be an easy way for scammers to take your money.

When going through the recruitment process, it’s standard practise to provide a recruiter or hiring manager with your CV, containing personal details.

It’s also standard practise to ask for passport details for Right to Work or DBS checks.

Again, providing some bank details is standard practise when it comes to getting paid.

So, scammers can often have a relatively easy time scamming people out of money, while also having access to the victim’s sensitive information – which is then commonly sold to other scammers.

How to spot a recruitment scam

To not fall victim to a recruitment scam, it is vital you know the key signs to look out for:

  • Check the phone number you are being contacted from, does it have a country code you would or wouldn’t expect it to have?
  • Check any messages for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • Vague or lack of job description – often these scam messages won’t contain much information about the detail of the job, but instead will place heavy emphasis on how ‘easy’ the job is, as well as being ‘unlimited pay’ while you ‘work from home’.
  • Beware of a lack of formal procedure, such as not providing a contract, or errors in terminology or currency within the ‘contract’.
  • Sudden requests for payment – there should not be any need for you to pay for HR fees during your recruitment experience, if a Recruitment Consultant or Recruitment Agency tries to demand you pay them money as a job seeker, then you should immediately stop engaging.
How to check for scams

What should you do if you’re unsure whether the message you’ve received is a recruitment scam?

Check the organisation that the recruiter says they are from. Does the organisation that is offering you the job actually exist?

If the organisation does exist, contact them directly through officially listed contact details, this way they can confirm the job is genuine.

Search up the Recruitment Consultant on LinkedIn – a Recruiter, whether an in-house Recruiter working for a company, or a Recruitment Consultant working for an Agency, will almost always have a LinkedIn profile which is clearly active and used regularly.

However, often scammers might clone other recruiters LinkedIn profiles, stealing their pictures and basic profile information to make it look legitimate. You should look at their activity to see if there is anything which looks suspicious, or whether there is even any activity coming from their profiles at all.

If you cannot find the name of the supposed Recruiter on LinkedIn, or their profile seems not to be in use, this should be raising alarm bells to get in touch with the company to check if the person contacting you is legitimate or not.

How are people reacting?

We asked people on LinkedIn whether they would engage with a Recruiter that has contacted them via WhatsApp?

With most respondents (44%) saying no, they wouldn’t engage with a Recruiter via WhatsApp.

However, 39% of people still said yes, they would engage with a Recruiter via WhatsApp.

Whereas 17% of people said it would depend, with some sating they would check whether the Recruiter has or hasn’t contacted them via a different suitable form of communication first.

How we engage with you

At T2M Resourcing, we might contact you by text or WhatsApp message, however:

  • We will always try ringing you first.
  • We will leave you a voicemail if you don’t pick up.
  • We will never ask a candidate to pay fees as part of the recruitment process.
  • We have an office phone number on our website, so you can give us a call if you’re not sure of anything.


Thinking about your next career move? Check out our vacancies page, or contact us via to let us know what you’re looking for.