As Channel 4 News publicly exposed the Universal Jobmatch site as a scammers paradise in December 2012: even easier than the old job scams offered via the JobCentre websites, this just required a scammer to register as an employer (no verification) and post job details, then harvest CV data from the jobseekers who applied.
From the Department of Work and Pensions website: Home \ Advisers and intermediaries \ Updates \ Universal Jobmatch:
Universal Jobmatch is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) online service which is radically changing the way people look for and apply to jobs. It’s one of the biggest changes to the labour market in 27 years.
Universal Jobmatch is open to all jobseekers, regardless of whether or not they are claiming a benefit.
But if you are claiming a benefit, DWP can make you use it.
The service will make it quicker and easier for jobseekers to find a suitable job and for companies to find the most suitable candidates. DWP does not charge for this service. More than 2 million people looking for work have already registered and set up an account and over 550 million job searches have been undertaken.
It works by matching jobseekers to jobs based on their skills and CV. Matching skills to jobs also allows jobseekers who might be unable to find jobs in their chosen profession, see what alternatives might be available in their local area.
That loophole so publicly exposed, the DWP would have instituted means of blocking it, especially as JSA claimants can now be required to register with Universal Jobmatch and search for jobs on it, or risk losing their benefit.
Universal Jobmatch is a valuable tool for helping jobseekers find work. We expect the majority of claimants who are genuinely looking for work will want to willingly use the service themselves.
Where this is not the case and where appropriate, we mayrequire some Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants to create a profile and a public CV in Universal Jobmatch.
JSA claimants must do all that can be reasonably expected of them to find work and must apply for any jobs that an adviser deems suitable.
This website to which everyone claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance can be made to upload their CV, is very, very secure.
This job was posted on Iain Duncan Smith’s Jobsearch Direct website on 4th March, for I.D.S. Pest Control Services:
Pest Control Trainee
Pest control trainee responsible for dealing with pests and vermin and driving them out of properties in London and south east England. Working closely with local authority departments to resolve problem pests.
You will need to become proficient in the use of baits, traps and snares and other techniques for evicting and excluding pests from properties including restricting access to food supply, blocking access to properties and humane dispatch.
Full training will be provided and you will receive benefits cap and uniform.
You will need to deal with a wide variety of pests and vermin.
Jobseekers, School Leavers, Apprentices etc – Apply today using the Apply Now button.
Universal Jobmatch will provide access to a wide range of vacancies, so using the service will be an important part of actively seeking work.
If after the Jobcentre Plus adviser has explained the benefits of the service to them, the claimant still refuses to use Universal Jobmatch, the adviser may then consider whether it is reasonable to issue a ‘Jobseeker’s Direction’ to mandate them to create a profile and upload a public CV on Universal Jobmatch.
Job ID: 1268661
Posting Date: 04/03/2013
Company: I.D.S. Pest Control Services
Industries: Business services – other
Job type: Full time
Career level: Entry Level
Education Level: CSE or equivalent
Salary: 18,000.00 – 18,000.00 per year
The direct URL for this job is jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/GetJob.aspx?JobID=1268661.
Before issuing a Jobseeker’s Direction the adviser will take a claimant’s individual circumstances into account, including whether they have access to the internet or not.
Jobseeker’s Directions require JSA claimants to take specific actions which will help them to find work, and failure to do so without good reason may result in a benefit sanction being applied.
Because there’s no imaginable good reason why anyone would refuse to upload their CV and look for work on a website where there is so little security that people can easily post fraudulent jobs.
After all, who would allow job ads to be posted that hadn’t been reviewed by someone responsible for making sure they were valid jobs, posted by a proper employer?
— Lincoln Jobcentre (@LincolnJCP) March 18, 2013
I wonder what kind of scam will be opened up with “My Benefits Online”?
My Benefits Online enables claimants to check details about claims, awards and payments for JSA, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support (IS), DLA and Attendance Allowance (AA).
Should we assume that the scammers posting fake jobs to defraud benefit claimants will have retroactive legislation passed to make their actions legal?
Screencap of the fake job ad on the Department of Work and Pensions website: