It turns out that this was a legitimate request. Read this post for more details.
Here’s an email I just got, allegedly from a recruitment agency
Dear Philip Under new DTI regulations, we are now required to provide proof of identification when we propose a candidate to a client for consideration against a job vacancy. We would appreciate it therefore if you could, by return, send us either a scanned copy by email, or a photocopy of one of the following documents: Your passport or European ID Card, along with confirmation of your National Insurance Number In addition, where applicable, please include a copy of your work visa. Please send these details to: Fax: 0117 929 1444 Email: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> Post: Computer People, Bristol Bridge House, Redcliff Street, Bristol BS1 6QP. Thanks for your assistance. We look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely Lisa Blakemore Senior Sales Support
Sounds like a scam to me, as I’ve been put forward by Computer People (and other agencies) for other jobs before and never had to provide this kind of detail. On the other hand, their postal address and fax number appear to check out, and they started it with “Dear Philip” whilst send the email to phil@ which suggests either a human, or a more intelligent than usual bot 🙂