Job Scams: Know the Red Flags

Written by Kelley Keehn

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The internet makes it easy to find opportunities to make a few extra bucks, but you'll want to be sure you're not worse off by falling prey to nefarious offers or job scams.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), there's a fresh wave of fraudulent employment scams that are currently targeting Canadians or promising jobs in Canada.

Watch Out for Suspicious Job Postings

According to the CAFC: "Consumers looking to work and move to Canada will find job postings all over the internet. Fraudsters will often use the name of companies that exist in Canada, but list their contact information."

The CAFC warns that fraudsters are clever in how they're trying to gain your trust and get your personal info. They might get you excited in the job interview process by scheduling a Skype interview, luring you into the scam.

Once you feel there's an opportunity and hope in their job offer, they'll ask you to fill out forms that request personal and financial information that could be used for identity fraud.

They might ask you for a copy of your passport or request a copy of a personal cheque. After all, they'll need to direct deposit your pay, right?

They'll make sure it all sounds official, like it's coming from some high office within the government. But what they're really after is your personal and financial info to scam you. Don't give away any personal info: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Other scams to be on alert about are work at home, secret shopper offers and more.

Pause Before Acting on Unsolicited Offers

According to the CAFC, when you're checking free online classified websites, be wary. There could be a fraudster looking to recruit potential victims. You might get an email offer out of the blue from someone saying that they found your resume online.

Scammers are sometimes trying to get you to be a payment processor.

What's a Payment Processor?

They basically lure you into a fake job process, send you too much money by accident and then ask for you to send the excess back.

What's Wrong with That?

Often they want you to "clear" a fraudulent cheque or money transfer through your bank. Once you've found out it's a scam, you're on the hook for the full amount. Don't give your personal or financial information to anyone, especially if they've contacted you by email or social media. And if someone is offering you payment for something you haven't done or a refund for something you haven't purchased, consider that a red flag!

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

  • Beware of unsolicited messages offering employment.
  • Be mindful where you post your resume. Scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims.
  • Take the time to research an employer and confirm they are hiring.
  • If you receive funds for any reason from an unknown individual or company and you're asked to forward it elsewhere – don't!
  • A legitimate employer will never ask you to accept money into your personal bank account. They also won't send you money and request a part of it back.
  • Never respond to an unsolicited text or email.
  • Be wary when a "company" uses a web-based email address (like Gmail or Hotmail) instead of one from their personalized domain.
  • If you receive a cheque or funds deposited to your account in response to a job, inform your financial institution immediately.
  • If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report it online at antifraudcentre.ca.

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