Hackernoon logoHow One Person Orchestrated a Huge Recruitment Scam in the UK by@aworker

How One Person Orchestrated a Huge Recruitment Scam in the UK

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@aworkerAnton Cherkasov, CEO Aworker

Hundreds of job seekers might’ve been conned out of money as part of an enormously huge recruitment scam.

A man using the name John Phillips is alleged to have offered non-existent jobs and charged applicants up to £480 as “accreditation fees”.

According to the BBC, many victims went on to unwittingly recruit further applicants. Safer Jobs, an agency which fights fraud, said it was the “biggest scam of its kind”. Keith Rosser, the agency representative, said that “It’s an exploitation of vulnerable job seekers. The fact they’d have to be asked to pay money is terrible in its own right. The fact the job doesn’t exist is even worse.”

The BBC’s Inside Out London programme found out that Mr. Phillips is believed to have used a number of names. They also found that he created at least 10 fake companies which had realistic-looking websites to orchestrate the scam. Many of the victims described how they were offered positions as human resources assistants at various “companies” after being interviewed in cafes or hotels.

Source: BBC News


People were told they had to pay the “accreditation fee” before they could start work and the money would be reimbursed in their salaries.

Some of them were never given employment start dates, while others worked for months without ever being paid. Can you believe how deep the scam got?! Some of those who did start work helped recruit other alleged victims.

When confronted by the BBC, Mr. Phillips said he did not know what the reporter was talking about.


Mr. Phillips is alleged to have been carrying out the scam since at least 2012.

The BBC believes there may be hundreds of victims, with scores of reports on the Scamradar website and online message boards devoted to trying to catch him. One victim, Lucille, said she worked for Mr. Phillips for two months, taking about £2,000 in payments from other applicants. As well as losing out on potential earnings, she was asked to pay for renting office space and for business cards. She said she was not reimbursed.

Atiya Ahmed resigned from another job to work for Mr. Phillips. “I’m very sad and disappointed in myself for falling for something like this, but when you’re desperate for a job you have no choice but to believe what someone promised,” she said.

When confronted by the BBC, Mr. Phillips said he had no knowledge of the claims and refused to comment further.

The Met Police said it was not aware of any investigation being carried out into the dealings of Mr. Phillips.

This is just one of the recruitment fraud examples that shows how manipulative, convincing, and profoundly calculated it can be. Recently there was another huge scandal around Magic Leap and hiring fraud scheme worth $1.000.000 inside of it. Thanks to the new era of technologies we can stop worrying about being lied to or being out into the scamming scheme.

For instance, Aworker is the platform that helps to prevent frauds in the recruitment and help people find the most suitable company and job position based on their professional skills and achievements. Decentralization provides the best opportunities for creating a new professional ecosystem. It makes it easier to pay people for their actions in Aworker platform: with the power of smart contracts payments for acquaintance’s recommendation or coming to the job interview by yourself are automatic. Also, all information is securely stored, and all the actions are transparent which exclude the chances of getting trapped with expensive yet unnecessary obligations.

Let us know if you had an experience with online job scams. (Full disclosure: we all have related stories from personal lives).


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