Be cautious of job offers that come through online employment sites. If you have uploaded your resume online, you may be more at risk of being contacted by this type of scam.
Scammers target people who have posted their resume or contact information online. They send emails or text messages offering a job typically doing administrative or clerical work. The scammers gather personal and financial information from you, saying it is needed to complete your employment or to pay you by direct deposit.
At some point after you are “hired,” the scammer sends you money or a cheque to deposit into your bank account. They may claim it’s part of a test for the company’s new payment system. The scammer then directs you to withdraw the money from your bank account and forward it to a third party using wire transfer (like Western Union), cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin) or gift cards (like iTunes cards).
How to recognize a job scam
Here are some red flags that you may be dealing with a job scam:
- You are asked to send and receive money through your personal bank account. A business will not ask you to use a personal bank account for business purposes.
- You receive a cheque in the mail and are asked to cash it and forward a portion of the funds to a third party. This is likely a fake cheque. If you deposit the cheque and withdraw the funds from your personal account, you may be on the hook for the money when the cheque bounces.
- You receive an unexpected email or text message offering employment. Scammers use legitimate job posting websites to seek out victims.
- You are offered a job without having to do an interview, or the interview consists only of a few emails. A legitimate job offer will often require an interview and a reference check.
- The pay offered is higher than usual for the type of work being offered.
- The “company” uses a web-based email address to conduct business. Addresses such as IBMJobs@gmail.com or AppleRecruiting@icloud.com are fake.
- If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How to protect yourself from being a victim of a job scam
Be mindful where you post your resume; scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims. If you have your resume posted online, here are some ways to protect yourself from a job scam:
- Never respond to an unsolicited text or email about a job offer.
- If you receive an email or text message about a job offer and you are not sure if it is real, contact the company. Do not reply to the email or text message. Look up their contact information online or in the phone book. Call and ask if they sent you a job offer or if they requested an interview with you.
- Do your research. A simple search on the internet for the name of the company and a followup call to the company can prevent you from being a victim. You can also try searching for the company name and the words “scam” or “fraud”.
- If you receive a cheque or money deposited to your account in response to a job and are asked to forward the funds elsewhere, advise your financial institution immediately. If you are asked to cash a cheque or withdraw and forward funds elsewhere, do not do it.
Where to report a job scam
If you believe you have been solicited by a job scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and your local police or RCMP. You can find more information about different types of job scams on the CAFC website.