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Is this a scam? Employment offers and criminal record checks

We have been altered to an organisation, Online UK Disclosure, which claim to offer Single Offence Checks at a cost of £99.99.

Online UK Disclosures claim to be an umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and Disclosure Scotland. The DBS has confirmed to Unlock that Online UK Disclosure is not registered an umbrella body and that the DBS do not offer Single Offence Checks.

Online UK Disclosures state that;-

‘A Single Offence Check only searches back five years and only for one particular offence. It has been created so that people with a criminal record but for minor and unrelated offences do not get hindered when applying for jobs’.

Why should you be concerned about Single Offence Checks?

In the example that we saw, a Single Offence Check was being requested to be done through Online UK Disclosure as part of an employment offer which turned out not to exist. It seems that this is linked to an employment scam which has been highlighted recently on the BBC’s Fake Britain and moneysavingexpert forum. The scam has also been reported to Safer Jobs and Action Fraud.

More and more fictitious jobs are appearing on job sites and job boards and more and more unsuspecting job seekers are parting with their hard earned money or becoming victims of identity theft.

Job scammers will pose as an employer or recruiter offering attractive employment opportunities which require job seekers to pay money in advance. This is usually under the guise of criminal record checks or credit checks. Once the money has been paid, the scammers disappear and the job seeker is let with no job and out of pocket.

How can I protect myself from employment scams?

  1. Never part with any money without being sure that the criminal record checks are being done through Disclosure Scotland (basic checks), the Disclosure and Barring Service (standard and enhanced) or a registered body. You can check with the DBS whether an organisation is a genuine registered body here.  For registered bodies carrying out checks through Disclosure Scotland, check here.
  2. Do some research on the company – Google them or visit the company’s website. If they don’t have one, or it doesn’t have any contact details then tread carefully.
  3. A job should only be offered once a face-to-face or thorough telephone interview has taken place. If a job is offered without this, it is likely to be a scam.
  4. Report any concerns to Safer Jobs or Action Fraud

We’ve reported the case we came across to both the DBS and Action Fraud.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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