Recruitment fraud can take on a number of different guises; a fraudster may post a fake job advert in an attempt to gain access to jobseekers’ details, while others may try and scam job hopefuls out of thousands of pounds.
And it seems this isn’t going away any time soon, as Keith Rosser, Chair and Board Director of SAFERjobs, previously stated that ‘in the last two years we have witnessed a 300% rise in recruitment-related fraud and misconduct’, Luminate Prospects reported.
However, one case that has recently emerged consists of a rather bizarre case of job fraud. A woman, who has now been jailed, tricked her friend into thinking she had landed her dream job in an elaborate scam.
Helen Dove groomed her friend Kimberley Baker by purchasing gifts and helping her with childcare, before convincing her to leave her job to pursue a career in child safeguarding, ITV News reported.
Baker went on to leave her job when Dove told her that she could help her with her application after she pretended to be an adoption worker.
Dove then went on to pretend to be 15 people in various roles from Warrington Council and the education watchdog Ofsted.
In her elaborate attempt to scam her friend, Dove forged bank statements, contracts of employment and faked job interviews through a number of fake email addresses, claimed Merseyside Police.
After giving up her job, Baker racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt, which forced her to take out loans and cancel her own wedding. The court estimated she had lost £50,000 by the fraud.
The fraudulent activity finally came to Baker’s attention when she carried out checks after receiving a document and identified Dove as the person sending the letter.
Looking for more
Due diligence | £1m fraud case highlights why recruiters need to check candidate qualifications
Dove has since been sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation. She has also been instructed to pay Baker £1,500 in compensation and is banned from contacting her for ten years.
"The reason why Ms Dove chose to do any of this is still a mystery. She made no financial gain from it,” said Victoria Colvin, Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service.
“She saw how her lies had made her friend become desperate and yet she did nothing to help her. She simply made it worse.
“She denied her wrongdoing until the start of the trial and had to be arrested on warrant to appear before the court. Finally, she pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank Kimberley McDonnell for her courage in helping us to bring this fraudster to justice and we hope that the successful end to this case helps Ms McDonnell move on with her life.”
It is unknown why Dove chose to dupe her friend, as she gained nothing financially through her elaborate lies.