JOB SEEKERS

Looking for work is a job in itself. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to make things easier: job search sites, professional networking sites, social groups and forums. But be careful! While these sites can be invaluable resources, they’re also used by con artists to hook new victims. And in the current economic climate, you might be tempted to respond to every job opportunity you come across, no matter how suspicious-looking.

Unrealistic Work-From-Home Offers

Who hasn’t seen those ads promising a quick and easy paycheque from the comfort of your home? You’ve probably sent more than a few of these kinds of emails to your spam folder. However, if money is tight and your job hunt is taking longer than expected, you might find yourself more willing to believe these miraculous claims. But don’t fall for it—these offers are simply too good to be true. The scam artists behind them are really just trying to get the kind of personal details you’d give to a real employer, such as your name, address, SIN, phone number or get you to pay start-up fees or invest in a non-existent company.

How to protect and minimize risks
  • Remember that there’s no such thing as free money. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Do a background check on the company or the person making you the offer. An online search will often reveal stories from people who’ve been swindled by similar scams.
  • Ask questions—fraudsters don’t like them. They’ll quickly sense your scepticism and usually let it drop.
  • If the offer looks like it’s from a legitimate company, look up their contact information yourself. Don’t call the number in the job ad.

 

Nigerian Bank Scam

The Nigerian bank scam is one of the oldest and most well-known cons out there. It doesn’t specifically target job seekers, but the longer you’ve been without a paycheque, the more willing you may be to suspend your disbelief.

The scam begins with an email, often from overseas, asking for your help to recover a fortune or to get money out of the country. Of course, it promises you’ll be well compensated for your help. So you provide your banking information to transfer the funds, but the transfer doesn’t work out quite like you expected: Your bank account is drained and your new friend is nowhere to be found… Alternatively, you might be asked to cover fictitious costs, such as lawyer, notary or broker fees, before your money can be transferred—but, of course, it never will be.

How to protect and minimize risks
  • Never reply to an unsolicited offer or request.
  • The word URGENT should set off warning bells the situation is a scam.
  • Remember that there’s no such thing as free money. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Do a background check on the person making you the offer. An online search will often reveal stories from people who’ve been swindled by similar scams.
  • Ask questions—fraudsters don’t like them. They’ll quickly sense your scepticism and usually let it drop.
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