Employment Scams

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What are employment scams? 

Employment Scams are designed to recruit unsuspecting individuals to launder money for criminal organisations. These scams are typified by job advertisements posted online, or emails sent to random addresses, promising quick commissions in return for work completed from the comfort of your own home. Eventually the ‘job’ will turn into receiving and transferring money or goods elsewhere. 

Employment scams 

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 

Identity Care Australia & New Zealand Ltd (IDCARE) provides identity and cyber security incident response services (the Services) in accordance with the following disclaimer of service:

IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber incident community support service. We are a not-for-profit charity.

  • The Services provide do not constitute legal advice. IDCARE recommends that you consult a solicitor in relation to your legal rights and obligations, including but not limited to your legal rights or obligations under Australian and international privacy and data protection laws.
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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this alert, IDCARE disclaims any liability to any person in respect to any actions performed or not performed as a result of the contents of the the Services or any accompanying data provided. Wider dissemination may be permitted by authority in writing from IDCARE’s Managing Director. If you would like to provide feedback please use our Feedback Form.

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IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.   

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