We all rely on official certifications in one way or another, from university degrees to language or skill certifications to disclosure and barring service, or DBS, checks. As with so many things, though, there are unscrupulous groups looking to make money at others’ expense. In this case it was through providing false certification to help individuals get jobs they would otherwise not be qualified for.
Certification Scams and False DBS Certificates
Recently, four men were convicted and jailed for making and selling fraudulent certifications, from fake letters of reference to false CRB check certificates. The men, aged 35 to 55, had produced false military papers, firearms certificates, maritime safety certifications and had even attempted to falsify medical certifications.
This isn’t the only example of fraudulent certification, though. Some organisations offer unnecessary certifications, claiming that they are required to get jobs in the UK and preying on those who are already desperate. Others sell false English language certifications for £500 to help individuals immigrate to the UK.
Some fraudulent businesses have also been overcharging potential employees for DBS checks, pocketing the extra money, or advertising jobs that don’t exist in order to scam individuals out of the DBS fee.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Business
As a business, your best starting point is to procure DBS checks from a reputable umbrella organisation such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/. The current DBS procedures do not provide the individual with a certificate except in exceptional circumstances, so any physical paperwork used to attempt to bypass a DBS check being carried out should be treated with some suspicion. Using a reputable umbrella organisation gives you peace of mind.
For other certification, track down the source as much as possible. Look into schools and certifying bodies to ensure that they exist, and don’t be afraid to make a phone call to the school or body to verify the credential.
As an individual, look into the certifications that might be required before applying for a job, and don’t hand over any money until you’ve checked up on what you’re being asked for. Know that a standard DBS check won’t cost you more than £50, and an enhanced £70, so you should question it if you are being asked for more.