Tips for Spotting Fraudulent DBS Providers

The Metropolitan Police set up a non-profit organisation known as the ‘Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment’ or ‘SAFERjobs’ in 2008, to assist with alleviating the effects of unfair working practices and jobs scams on those affected.

SAFERjobs saw a 300 per cent increase in labour market abuse over a two-year period, with one in ten job hunters falling victim to scams.

The following article offers seven tips for spotting fraudulent requests for DBS Checks and how, as an employer, you can avoid falling victim to them.

Spotting Fraudulent Requests for DBS Checks

Figures from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau show that victims of recruitment fraud lose an average of £4000 when scammed.  Among all those successfully scammed, young people are the most defrauded jobsters in Britain.

The SAFERjobs charity aims to raise awareness of recruitment fraud and helps to prevent criminal activity by illegitimate employers.

Noticing a fraudulent job advert or fake employment process is a practice all job applicants should embrace. However, employers can also fall victim to fraud through services such as DBS providers. Below are seven tips to help you spot a fraudulent DBS Check provider.

1. Check the DBS section on gov.uk

One of the easiest and quickest ways to check if a provider is legitimate is to refer to the DBS section of the gov.uk website. The website contains the DBS Umbrella Body directory, which lists all the trusted and legitimate DBS providers.

If you have found a DBS provider to conduct your legal DBS Check with a price or timeframe which seems too good to be true, it’s best to cross-check the company against the government’s directory. If the company is not appearing, it’s most likely they are fraudulent.

2. Watch Carefully for any Outdated Requests

When visiting a DBS company site, it’s crucial to pay particular attention to the language they use as well as the services they offer. For many years prior to 2012, DBS checks were known as ‘CRB Checks’, provided by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). The service was replaced by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in 2012, leading to the check’s change of name to ‘DBS Check’.

Companies continuously referring to these legal checks as ‘CRB Checks’ may be fraudulent providers. All legitimate companies will comply with the lawful name change and therefore will never refer to these checks using their old name.

3. Eligibility of DBS Check

Employers will often opt to perform DBS Checks on any employee, regardless of their employment sector, as a precaution, but not all job roles require a check.

Only certain job roles will require a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check as a legal requirement. If a company is insisting that your employment sector requires a check that you may not have conducted previously, it’s best to check whether the establishment is legitimate.

4. Look Further into a Company

If the company has raised cause for concern, or you as an employer are searching for peace of mind when choosing a provider to perform legal DBS Checks, you can contact the Disclosure and Barring Service directly at 0300 0200 190.

Equally, if you have chosen an umbrella body to process your DBS Check on your behalf, you can refer to the government’s eligibility guide to double-check whether the level of DBS Check they have chosen to conduct is necessary for the type of job.

5. Industry Bodies

When working in certain industries, only certain bodies are permitted to conduct checks on employees. For example, in the security industry, the SIA (Security Industry Association) is the only company permitted to run checks on its staff.

If you are asked for money upfront when acquiring a check, it’s vital that you look over the authenticity of the company before you proceed with the request.

6. Know the Appropriate Pricing for DBS Checks

For even the highest level of DBS Check, you shouldn't be looking at paying much more than around £70 per check.

The Disclosure and Barring Service sets the prices for nationwide checks; any independent providers who are separate from the DBS will set an additional admin fee on top of the DBS’ initial costs.

7. Is the Company Easily Contactable?

Fraudulent companies looking to scam other organisations may not provide adequate contact details. If there is a suspicion that a company is aiming to commit illegal activity, locate a contactable phone number on their site/correspondence.

If a company has provided a telephone number, they will, more often than not, provide a fixed address for their offices. It is always beneficial to check that the phone number corresponds with the location of their offices to see if the company is legitimate.

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