These criminals often use online chat rooms, social networking sites, hoax websites and fake profiles to furnish the scam to convince the recruit. New recruits are usually found using resumes published by hopeful job-seekers to job websites. The recruitment process is usually quick, with little to no training required. Most ‘jobs’ offered are work-from-home situations and relatively easy, but promise high-return commissions. Often it is not until the victim is alerted by their bank or money transfer service that they will leave the scam. This scam will also typically gain access to victims’ passports, driver licence and tax information under the ruse that they are applying for a legitimate job.
Detecting an employment scam
If you believe you may be involved in an employment scam, keep track of the following warning signs:
- The contact is offering you a guaranteed income or job
- They claim that you can make a lot of money for little effort using your personal computer
- They do not request an interview with you
- They ask you to provide your personal credentials before you know all the job details
- The job entails facilitating transactions or reimbursements
- Referee are not checked
- You never have visual contact with the person asking you to work for them
- They are an overseas company wanting to transfer money through Australia.
Preventing employment scams
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited job offers, especially if they are guaranteed without interview
- Do not give your personal credentials to a stranger offering an unsolicited position
- Be wary of emails with language errors
- Avoid offers from a stranger that requires immediate up-front payment
- Never agree to transfer someone else’s money, especially if they are a stranger
- Take steps to research the company in relation to any scams, as well as checking relevant business registries for licencing
- Don’t provide information to someone asking for details regarding your financial status/personal information e.g. marital status
Responding to employment scams
If you believe you have been a victim of an employment scam, there are a few steps you can take to limit the damage:
- Stop sending any more money and immediately contact your bank(s)
- Assess what identity documents the scammer has gained access to, and contact the relevant agencies
- Report the scam to police, and any relevant job sites if it originated from an online ad
- If you clicked on any links/downloaded attachments in emails, make sure to run anti-virus scans on your devices
- Consider taking out credit bans to prevent future financial misuse of your credentials
- Be wary of secondary scams attempting to use your details
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