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Following the success of the groundbreaking industry fraud forums, The Met Polices Operation Sterling is pleased to announce the launch of The Recruitment Industry Counter-Fraud Forum SAFER (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment).

Fraud costs the UK economy many billions of pounds annually and the human cost of stolen identity, the commercial cost of scams and the social cost of criminal activity are immense.

As part of the approach to combating economic crime through partnership, Sterling has established a number of industry forums or think tanks in key business sectors that are known to be under attack by criminal networks and fraudsters. These forums assemble leading industry representatives from specific fields to firstly analyse the threats through exchange of information, identify the enablers of the fraud and the criminal mythology, and then disseminate the threats and proposed solutions within that sector and any other sector that may be at risk.

Sterlings industry forums include The Construction Industry forum, Travel sector Forum, Hotel Forum, Property Forum and the Motor Vehicle Forum (VSTAG). Other sector forums are currently under construction.

Today sees the official launch of the recruitment fraud forum known as SAFER (Safe Advice for Employment and Recruitment) in a bid to help protect jobseekers, employers and service providers from crime.

Unfortunately, like most sectors of commerce, the field of recruitment offers opportunities to those wishing to benefit from fraud. Such instances include the use of false identities to obtain state benefits whilst working, false CVs, infiltrating employers for criminal means, tempting jobseekers with false services or duping service providers with bogus jobs. The recruitment industry also impacts across all other industries.

SAFER, a non-profit making industry wide forum, sees major stakeholders in the recruitment industry, coming together publicly for the very first time, to show their commitment in working together to combat fraud and criminal activities within that sector.

The founder members of SAFER include Kelly Services, Manpower, Reed, Adecco, Hays, Impellam, Monster, Fish4jobs, Jobsite, TotalJobs, Guardian Jobs and together with the trade associations, REC and On-Rec representing wider interests.

SAFER follows the progress and achievements of the motor vehicle fraud forum, The Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group, (VSTAG which was established in 2006 to combat vehicle related fraud. As a direct result of this partnership it is estimated VSTAG has prevented an estimated 50million of fraudulent losses in 2007.

SAFER anticipates following in the success of VSTAG and leading the way for other sector fraud forums to be launched in early 2009.

The forum has set up a dedicated, publicly accessible website to raise awareness and to offer impartial advice

Detective Chief Superintendent Nigel Mawer, Mets Economic and Specialist Crime Command, said: The Metropolitan Police is pleased to be working with the recruitment industry as part of SAFER to better protect jobseekers, employers and service providers from criminality. Fraud causes great harm to the economy, communities and the lives of victims.

Whilst we are all much more aware of the dangers of fraud, the best-protected organisations and individuals are those who recognise the threat and share best practice. It is clear that the key to combating and keeping one step ahead of the ever-evolving nature of fraud is by working together in partnership. Fraud Forums such as SAFER provide an invaluable conduit for this and we will continue to work with our partners to strengthen the fight against economic crime.

Stephen Brewis, Chair of SAFER, said: SAFER provides a forum for the sharing of information and best practice amongst the industry in order to identify and design out the threats as well as assess where fraudsters could go next. By acting as the forward ears, eyes and radar for all fraud within their sector the forum will quickly pass on intelligence to other sector forums that could be at risk as well as law enforcement agencies. It will also seek to raise awareness, provide prevention advice in order to minimise future recruitment related crime.


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