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Job scams

Consumers and businesses should be on the lookout for the following job scams targeting Canadians:

Mystery Shopper

Scammers use free online classified websites like Kijiji, Craig's List, Monster and Workopolis to recruit potential victims.  Consumers answer a tempting online post, email or text message ad to become a mystery shopper. The "employer" sends a letter with shopping tasks to be completed by the "employee" at a particular store. They enclose a cheque with the letter to assist the "employee" with purchasing goods to fulfill the shopping tasks. The "employee" is told to deposit the cheque and keep a portion of the money as a payment. The remaining funds are to be used to send a wire at a money service business like Western Union or MoneyGram to test the company's procedure and customer service skills.  Eventually, the cheque is returned as counterfeit and the "employee" is accountable to pay for the funds that were wired.

How to protect yourself

  • Be mindful where you post your resume; scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims.
  • A legitimate employer will never send funds and request a portion of it back.
  • Do your research. A simple search on the internet can save you thousands of dollars.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Financial Agent

Scammers use free online classified websites or email campaigns to recruit potential victims. Consumers answer the ad or email offer to become a "financial agent" or "client manager" and correspond by email with the fraudsters. The victim works as a payment processor for the suspect company and receives payments from its clients. Victims report receiving etransfers or wire transfers into their bank account, and they are then directed to send the money through Western Union or MoneyGram to a representative in Eastern Europe (e.g. Russia or Ukraine).

How to protect yourself

  • If you receive money from an unknown individual or company and you are asked to forward it elsewhere - DON'T!  Chances are you are dealing with a scammer.
  • Be aware of any job offer that involves collecting payments for the employer and forwarding the money to a different country.

Reshipping Scams

Scammers post work-at-home jobs on free online classified websites or career sites, usually advertising for "merchandising manager" or "package processing assistant." Duties include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email. If you accept the job, you'll receive packages containing one of two things: merchandise bought with stolen credit cards (the scammer needs your help to smuggle the goods out of the country) or counterfeit cheques (the scammer wants your help to produce and distribute them to other victims).

How to protect yourself

  • If you receive packages for any reason from an unknown individual or company, and you are asked to forward them elsewhere - DON'T!  Chances are you are dealing with a scammer.
  • Be aware of any employment offer for a "processing assistant" or "administrative assistant" that may involve producing and distributing fraudulent cheques to other victims.
  • If you see an ad for a home business opportunity that seems very easy to do with the promise of a high income, you should investigate the business before becoming involved with it.

Debt Settlement Collection Scams

Scammers seek legal and business professionals through social networking sites link LinkedIn with job opportunities to assist in the collection of unsettled debt or payment disputes. Fraudsters pretend to be from a foreign country and say they are trying to collect debt from a company in Canada. Victims receive contact information for the debtor, which will willingly agree to settle the debt immediately. Victims then receive payment in the form of a counterfeit cheque. Once it is deposited, fraudsters direct the victim to wire transfer the money back to fraud accounts in Asian countries (e.g. Japan and China).

How to protect yourself

  • Be mindful where you post your information; scammers use legitimate websites to find victims.
  • Be aware of unsolicited requests from potential clients located overseas and seeking assistance to settle a debt.
  • Before returning any funds, authenticate the cheque with the corresponding financial institutions.

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Source: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/fraud-escroquerie/job-emploi-eng.htm

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