The Recruitment market has recently reported a significant increase in fraudulent activity involving ‘Ghost Workers’.
This fraud typically involves a fraudulent company approaching a legitimate recruitment agency and requesting that the recruitment company put workers through their payroll to work for the fraudulent company.
How do they operate?
- When approaching the recruitment agency, the fraudulent company will provide their own ‘preferred’ workers for placement. All contact that the recruitment agency has with the workers is online and they never meet face to face.
- The recruitment agency will then place these workers in employment for their customer (the fraudulent company that approached them in the first place or another business where the approaching fraudulent company is acting as an intermediary).
- The recruitment agency will pay wages to the workers and then invoice the fraudulent company (who is the customer) as per normal process.
- The fraudulent company however will disappear and leave the recruitment agency with a debt that then has to be written off.
- The bank accounts where the recruitment agency paid the workers’ wages are controlled by the fraudsters and the funds.
- In one case 4 workers living in various parts of the country all had bank accounts at the same branch with sequential account numbers.
Please keep an eye out for the signs and be extra vigilant when working with new clients.