Fraud warning – Ghost workers

The Invoice Finance Sector has seen a significant increase in cases of ghost workers. This typically involves a fraudulent company approaching a legitimate recruitment company and requesting they put workers through the payroll that aren’t legitimate.

What are ghost workers and how can they have an impact?

  • A fraudulent company provides their own ‘preferred’ workers for placement. Contact is usually online and never face to face.
  • The recruitment company will then place these workers in employment for their customer.
  • These workers are then paid their wages by the recruitment company, as per the normal process.
  • The fraudulent company will then disappear and leave the recruitment company with a debt that has to be written off.
  • The bank accounts where the wages were paid are controlled by the fraudsters and funds are removed immediately.
  • In one case, four workers living in different parts of the country all had bank accounts at the same branch with sequential account numbers.

It’s the Director’s and owner’s responsibility to ensure they know their clients. If this fraud occurs, your debt insurance will not cover it and you will be liable to pay us in full. You must have suitable and appropriate procedures in place to prevent any fraud happening. Basic rules such as meeting all your clients and temporary workers are fundamental and part of the Agency Code of Practice (REC Code of Practice).