New immigrants are job hunting round- the-clock. So are fraudsters.
Have you received an email lately telling you your resume has been specially selected for a Customer Relations or Research Manager position? Chances are that you are about to be roped into a job scam.
As the job market gets tighter for new immigrants, job scams are increasing. The internet makes searching for jobs easier than ever but be careful of job opportunities that sound too good to be true. Fraudsters behind these job scams eagerly recruit new hires, making the interview process appear professional and legitimate.
Fraudsters scout legitimate job sites and find resumes and job applications by job seekers. They select some of the resumes or emails and plot their job scams.
The top 3 employment scams in Canada
This is the most popular and easily executed job scam. You receive a notice by your email that you have been selected to be a special mystery shopper to ascertain the customer service quality of certain well-known brands such as Tim Hurtons, McDonald’s, H&M, Zara and such household names.
You are given a respectable title such as Research Manager, quality control officer or client service strategist
You are asked to visit any of these stores and observe and then fill out a simple questionnaire to report on their quality of service. At every step, the scammer asks you to complete and submit a customer service survey based on your experiences. The surveys are a prop to convince you the job is real. After two or three reports, you will get a satisfactory report and commendation.
Thereafter you will get a mail and a cheque with some instructions. The scammer asks you to deposit the money into your personal bank account and to transfer a large part of the money into a specific bank account. And keep the balance to cover your previous expenses and provision for future expenses.
You are usually advised to deposit the cheque at the ATM and withdraw some cash portion.
You will later find out that the cheque you deposited was fake and you now owe money to the bank. Your account will also be red-flagged.
Car wrapping or branding
Scammers send you an unsolicited message that you can earn $300 to $500 per week by wrapping your car, truck, SUV, or bike with a “company” logo.
If you respond, you would be sent instructions and a contract followed by a cheque in the mail.
The scammers instruct you to deposit the cheque into your account and withdraw some of the funds immediately (the law allows customers to draw out a portion of a deposited cheque even before the money clears).
Then you are directed to deposit the money into a specific bank account to pay a graphics company and other design fees. It is at this point that you learn that the cheque is counterfeit and you are responsible for any funds withdrawn. The bank will put a red flag on your account and your account will always be treated as suspicious.
Scammers will try to recruit you with a job offer through unsolicited email or text messages, online classified ads, or job posting websites
The job may be called a “financial agent” or “client manager”. When you answer the offer, the scammers hire you as a payment processor for the suspect company. Your job is to receive payments from the company’s clients. You will receive e-transfers or wire transfers into your bank account.
The scammers then direct you to send money through Bitcoin to a company representative. The money received is either from compromised accounts or other fraud victims. The scam has made you a money mule. You could be arrested for money laundering.
Now that you know the top 3 job scams out there, you should still watch out for other red flags that could also lead to a job scam eventually.
8 red flags and other potential job scams
- “Employers” are reaching out to you even when you didn’t apply to the job.
- The emails they use are from generic email accounts rather than company accounts
- The job listing is not located on the company website. Legitimate companies that use listing platforms to post available job descriptions will also have the job posting on their company website
- You are hired without a proper interview process being conducted.
- The pay seems too good to be true.
- They ask for a money transfer or expect you to pay for the equipment up front.
- They do not want to meet in person or virtually. Instead, they stick to only telephone calls or letters.
- The “employer” sends you a cheque, often with a bogus “contract” and asks you to cash the cheque and send a portion of the money to another person or company – a version of the overpayment scam.
When in doubt, run. Reject suspicious job offers and search for opportunities on company websites that you know and trust. Also. avoid sending your personal details and photo ID whenever you are in doubt.
Immigrants are usually shocked to hear of job scams in a country as advanced as Canada. They forget that human greed is universal.