Employment scams are one of the fastest growing types of scams emerging on the internet today. In this article we'll look at how to identify them, what the motives are, and what you can do to protect yourself
How do employment scams work?
Employment scams, like many scams today, usually start with a phishing message. This message arrives in your inbox with an invitation to apply for a seemingly perfect job opportunity. Often the email appears to be from a reputable source and contains details of a job with lots of perks like working from home, high rate of pay, flexible hours and lots of flexibility. Like most phishing scams, the scammer is trying to get you to perform an action quickly without thinking things through. When you reply to the job opportunity or click a link to apply, the scamming begins. Unbeknownst to you, you're actually communicating with a scammer, not an employer.
What is the motive - why do they do this?
Typically employment scams are designed to get you do one of the following:
- Send dollars as a fee for "training" that never takes place
- Facilitate identity theft - by telling you that you need to send documents or identification in order to be hired.
- Clicking a link which installs malware on your computer.
How do I protect myself?
Like all types of phishing, it's really important to think before you click or respond. The following tips can help you avoid employment scams:
Do not provide personal information in your résumé, on application forms, or through online job ads including:
- Your Social Insurance Number
- Your age, marital status, date of birth
- Your driver’s license number
- Your health card number
- Your banking or financial information, which includes credit card or bank account numbers and any Personal Identification Numbers (PIN).
Do an online search. Look up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” You might find out they’ve scammed other people.
Talk to someone you trust. Describe the offer to them. What do they think? This also helps give you vital time to think about the offer.
Don't pay for the promise of a job. Legitimate employers, including the federal government, will never ask you to pay to get a job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
No legitimate potential employer will ever send you a check and then tell you to send on part of the money, or buy gift cards with it.