Featured on BBC One’s Northern Justice & Morning Live


APP Fraud and Scam Compensation

Employment Scam Compensation Claims:
Claim Compensation for Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud

Quick guide

  • Scammers are using job search sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed, claiming to be a legitimate company. They target vulnerable jobseekers and defraud them out of their money.
  • UK banks have a duty of care to spot and prevent scams on their accounts.
  • TLW Solicitors’ specialist APP fraud team can help you make a compensation claim for employment scams and may be able to secure compensation on a no-win, no-fee basis if you have been scammed.

Have you lost money as a result of an Employment Scam?

If your bank failed in its responsibilities to protect you from fraudsters, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Regrettably, we cannot assist if:

  • You transferred your money to the scam before July 2019.
  • You transferred money using a bank which is not UK based.

The Coronavirus pandemic opened the door for much more flexible working across a wide range of industries and sectors. This also led to recruitment interviews taking place on video conferencing platforms and employers including hybrid and work-from-home opportunities in their job descriptions.

Unfortunately, as jobseekers are offered more choices in the market, criminals are also noticing, and capitalising on these trends by using fraudulent jobs and online job adverts to scam victims out of their hard-earned cash.

Start Your Compensation Claim Online

or call us on 0800 169 5925

Employment scams, also known as job or recruitment scams, prey on unsuspecting, sometimes vulnerable and financially naïve, individuals looking to secure new employment. Typically, the scam will involve the victim applying for or being contacted about a job advertised on a recruitment site, such as LinkedIn or Indeed, and being asked to pay money for things like equipment, courses linked to the job, or to sign up to a ‘portal’ where they need to perform specific tasks to earn money or to progress their career within the business.

In almost all cases, the scammers’ end game is to convince the victims to willingly transfer their money or personal details – in a process known as Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud – at which point the scammer will ‘mysteriously’ disappear, along with the victim’s money.

While many people may think that they are ‘savvy’ and would be able to spot an employment scam, these types of cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Their tactics may not be obvious straight away, so if you or a loved one is currently searching for employment, it is essential to be aware of the common scams:

  • Advance-fee scams: the scammer will ask you for an upfront payment or deposit to cover the cost of certain necessities for the job, such as training, equipment, or pre-employment checks, with the promise that you will be reimbursed once the job starts. Neither the job nor the goods exist, and the scammer leaves you out of pocket.
  • Fake cheque scams: these are similar to advance-fee scams, but the scammer will promise to reimburse you with a cheque. The cheque bounces, and the scammer disappears.
  • Task scams: you will be asked to sign up to a ‘portal’ through which you will complete tasks and receive a commission. This may also require the initial payment of a deposit. You may see returns at first, but gradually you will ‘lose credit’ or need to pay a premium to ‘upgrade’ your account using your own money. Eventually, you will have to invest considerable amounts to keep going and be unable to withdraw your ‘earnings’. To make these ‘tasks’ more appealing, the scammers introduce an element of gamification, in effect getting you hooked on the process and sucking you into spending more time and money on reaching the next stage. Sometimes, the scammers will encourage you to keep putting in more by taking out loans or using credit cards. Before realising you’ve been scammed, it’s too late and your money has gone.

It is better to be safe than sorry; if you are looking for employment using job sites like LinkedIn or Indeed, or if you see attractive job opportunities appearing on your social media feed on Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat or TikTok, or you receive direct job ads on messaging apps like WhatsApp, make sure you are familiar with the warning signs of a potential scam:

  • Poor spelling and grammar on job adverts, website, direct messages (DMs) and in emails.
  • The job description has low or no entry requirements or qualifications but offers substantial payment.
  • The job advert suggests that the work can be done from anywhere, in any time-zone, is completely flexible and often has a commission element.
  • The recruiter uses a generic email domain, e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, rather than a professional email address.
  • You are immediately accepted for the job without providing a CV, having an interview (even just online) or formal recruitment process.
  • The recruiter requests bank details or personal information as part of the application process (this is usually not done until after interviews and job offers).
  • The payments for the work delivered are made through cryptocurrency accounts/wallet such as Ethereum, Binance, Bitcoin etc. Cryptocurrency is unregulated and it is highly unusual for a legitimate employer to pay their employees in this way.
  • As part of the recruitment or job onboarding process, you are sent files to download on to your own device. This will likely be spyware or a remote desktop technical support app, such as AnyDesk or UltraViewer, that is then used to collect your personal data and bank details that can be used to scam you.

Here are also some steps you can take to check that a job opportunity is legitimate and not a job scam:

  • Check the company’s details on Companies House and ensure that 1) the company is genuine and 2) the details match up to what you already have.
  • Contact the company directly (using the details on their website, not those given by the recruiter) to confirm the legitimacy of the job advert.
  • Check the recruitment pages of the company’s website to see if the vacancies are genuine.
  • Research through LinkedIn and the company’s website the details of any individuals mentioned to check they actually exist and are genuine.

A genuine recruiter will not put undue pressure on you to make a decision; scammers will. And remember, if something seems too good to be true, it often is.

Many of these employment/job/recruitment scams use a form of what is known as Authorised Push Payment fraud (APP) fraud, where a victim is convinced to use their bank account to send money, often via a cryptocurrency account, to a fraudster for a purpose they believe to be legitimate, such as paying a deposit, or for work equipment or a training course necessary for the role. The ‘authorised push payment’ element comes into play as victims are coached to authorise these payments directly from their online or mobile banking apps.

As the transfer is instantaneous, the scammer will move the money straight onto a second, often overseas, account. By then, it is virtually impossible to recover, and the victim may have lost thousands.

If you have lost money to an employment APP scam, you should immediately report the fraud to your bank, the police and Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre. This may also trigger a criminal investigation into the scam.

Your bank will investigate the case and, depending on the circumstances of the case, you may receive a refund; but as the money has been moved on, this is not guaranteed. However, banks are increasingly being held to account and shouldering responsibility for APP scams if they have failed to sufficiently protect their customers from fraud.

If you have lost money to an employment push payment scam and your bank is refusing to compensate you, then you can take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), an independent, Government-backed body responsible for resolving disputes between consumers and financial institutions, such as banks.

TLW Solicitors’ APP Fraud team members have been featured in a BBC One series, ‘Northern Justice’ and the BBC’s Morning Live show. Episodes from the Northern Justice programme show how TLW lawyers helped scam victims recover substantial compensation. Full details about the BBC series can be found here.

The specialist fraud team at TLW Solicitors are helping many clients recover refunds on a no-win, no-fee basis. If you have a claim, we will deal with your claim from start to finish, whilst keeping you up to date as the case progresses.

The steps in the claims process are:

  1. Submit your claim with us by completing either the online claim form, request a callback, telephone our office, or email us using the contact details provided.
  2. A member of the fraud team will discuss your claim with you and advise whether you may have a claim that we can deal with.  If we can assist you, we will send you our welcome pack which contains useful information on what to expect throughout your claim as well as details of what information we’ll need from you.
  3. You will be assigned a case handler. If following an initial assessment of your case we think you have a claim, we will be in touch to go through the next steps. If we don’t think you have a claim, we will provide our reasons why so that you may consider other options.
  4. Your case handler will ask for and review any additional documentation needed to progress your claim, this will include contacting the banks involved on your behalf. You will be kept up to date by email and phone calls if required.
  5. Depending on the circumstances of your case and due to a wide range of factors outside of our control, making a refund claim can take several months to complete – as your case progresses, we will try to give you as much information as possible about the likely timescales. We will continue to update you on your claim, and you will be able to contact your dedicated case handler if there are any issues or concerns.
  6. We work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, there will be no charge for the work we do.

If you are concerned that you, a friend, or a loved one has lost money to any fraud related to jobs, employment, recruitment or carrying out tasks, don’t hesitate to contact TLW Solicitors to find out if we can help you make a no- win, no-fee refund claim.

To arrange a no-obligation discussion about your options, call 0800 169 5925, email info@tlwsolicitors.co.uk or complete one of the forms below.

It is important to get advice as soon as possible, as strict time limits can apply.

Minimum case values apply.

Meet Our Team

Meet Sarah, who heads up our experienced Authorised Push Payment Fraud Claims team.

Sarah and her colleagues are on hand to help with your claim.

TLW Solicitors pledge to:

  • Always fight your corner.
  • Explain anything you don't understand.
  • Provide full transparency on our charges.
  • Never ask for any upfront payment.
  • Recover the best compensation we can.
  • Keep your personal information safe.
  • Respond quickly to any queries.