Fraud Risk on The Rise: How 'Convincing' Fraudsters are Targeting Vulnerable Job Seekers

According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, those with mental health issues are up-to three times more likely to fall victim to a financial scam.

This is following a survey carried out by the Institute who found that 23% of those with mental health problems have been defrauded by scammers.  This is compared to just 8% of the general population.

A shaky economy and subsequent mass job losses has seen a rise in fraud scams, with some swindlers trying to take advantage of job seekers.  In one such recently reported case, Helen Barker, a 29-year-old woman who has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, was subjected to scammers positing a job on a well-known online recruitment site. 

When asked for money for DBS checks, a further £250 for training along with copies of her passport and bank card details, Ms Barker described how she felt ‘boxed in and thought [she] had to do it to get a job’. 

Luckily for Ms Barker she turned to trusted friends for help and on realising this was a scam was able to avoid losing any money.

However, it is evident that not all individuals are as supported as Ms Barker; and the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute are seeking more protection from online technology companies in the form of the forthcoming Online Harms Bill.  The Bill will see tech companies legally required to do more to both govern and prevent harmful content being published online.

Martin Lewis OBE, who founded the charity said that vulnerable people within our society were ‘easy prey’ for online scammers, especially during the pandemic.  Mr Lewis whose Money Saving Expert site has offered years’ worth of advice in respect of financial security and consumer rights added; ‘These viscous criminals are exploiting the fact that more people are stuck at home, spending more time online, and potentially struggling with their mental health – all of which increase the risk of falling victim to these schemes’.

 

Interested in learning more? Click to find more news stories brought to you by HealthHubble.

 

Carrie Plummer - Editor & Content Manager


Mental Health and Wellbeing News

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