Following information received from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, Staffordshire Police is issuing an employment fraud warning to perspective nannies and models.
There have been two reported incidents of this type of fraud in Staffordshire, but investigating officers believe the figure could be higher.
The incidents follow the below pattern:
- The nanny or model places an advert or replies to an advert for employment.
- The suspect engages with the victim and offers a contract of employment.
- The suspect explains that he/she and their family are relocating to the UK and therefore require that the nanny buys items (usually toys) for the children or that they represent a new company in need of some modelling work.
- The suspect sends the victim a cheque to cover the cost of advanced wages with extra to cover other costs (such as a stylist or to purchase toys).
- The suspect then states that they have had a change of heart and that they will now buy the toys or pay for a stylist and asks for the victim to transfer the money back to the suspect, minus the wages.
- The cheque is identified as fraudulent by the bank and the victim loses the original money credited and the money transferred out.
Staffordshire Police is issuing the following prevention advice:
- Be wary of any employer sending a cheque with a higher value than agreed and requesting cash back from you.
- Check any documents for poor spelling and grammar.This is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
- If you are uncertain whether an employer is genuine then give them a call, ask for references or use an online search engine to see if anything of concern comes up.
- If you are uploading your CV onto an online job board, avoid including valuable identification details and definitely do not give out any financial details.
- Unless you are sure the job advertisement is genuine, be protective of your National Insurance number, passport number and bank details. This is all someone needs to pretend to be you and make purchases or open accounts in your name.
- If you suspect anything untoward, warn the operators of the website where you placed your CV that their site is possibly being used by fraudsters.
If anyone has been affected by this kind of employment fraud, they are asked to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their online reporting tool.