I'm currently looking for work, and have been contacted by two recruiters about the same position. The first one asked me to confirm that I'm not in contact with anyone else regarding the same company, so when it became clear that the second one was about the same position I politely informed them that I could not work with them because I'm already in contact with someone else. I did not use any names.
Then the second recruiter requested that I tell them who the first one is, as they claim that some are not really working with the companies they claim to be working with and only intend to create a fake rejection in order to promote other companies that they're working with.
The way I see it, either or both of the above might be scamming me. If I decide to work with the first and the second is correct I could be passing on an opportunity. If I decide to work with the second one as well, I'd be going against what I said to the first. Although I don't believe it was legally binding, as no contract or anything was signed, it could make them less likely to want to work with me.
How should I handle this situation?
Edited to add additional question:
Would it be acceptable to contact the company directly, not to apply, but to ask if the recruiters are sincere?
Edited to add:
It has been suggested that this is a duplicate of How to deal with a potential turf war between three recruiters for the same job?. However that question seems to be focused on genuine recruiters acting unprofessionally. I believe this one is different because it deals with a possibly fake recruiter.
The answers given seem to agree with my gut, which is that the second recruiter is at the very least unprofessional and perhaps a scammer themselves. This opinion has been strengthened by their response when I formally requested that they remove my data from their records, which I will not quote but sounded like trying to intimidate me.