Protecting Yourself from Job Scams
Have you found a job that seemed too good to be true? No experience needed and high pay to go with it? Have you been asked for personal information and to pay money upfront for training, insurance or fees? You may have found a Job Scam.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada. Do not become a victim of fraud or theft and never share your banking information, social insurance number, driver’s license, credit card number, birth certificate or passport information.
Unfortunately, Job Scams do exist and they can be looking you straight in the face. Know what to look for and how to protect yourself from a victim of fraud or theft.
Common Characteristics of a Job Scam:
- Requesting payment from you (e.g. You pay for training, we guarantee you a job)
- Requesting personal information
- Poorly written job ad
- Receiving “employer” contacts during odd hours of the day or night.
- Emails to and from a non-business address
- Offered the job on the spot
- High salary, no experience needed
- Inquiries to a long distance number
- Fake employment agency
- Earn big and work from home
Tips to Help You Avoid Employment Scams*:
- Be cautious if you are asked to pay for specialized job training in exchange for “guaranteed” employment.
- Be wary if you are asked to pay an upfront fee to a job placement company to obtain a dream job.
- Do not pay an upfront fee for a not-to-be-missed business opportunity.
- If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be wary if the company uses high-pressure sales techniques and refuses to take “no” for an answer.
- Avoid ads that ask you to call a special number. Many times, the number is a long-distance line that bills you at a costly rate per minute.
- Be wary if a company refuses to provide you with references you can check.
- Never give out your Social Insurance Number, credit card number or any other financial information in response to an advertisement.
- Don’t give personal information to anyone unless you’ve been offered a job in writing and receive a copy of the contract. Special caution is urged when making an application over the Internet because the company you thought had an office next door could really be located anywhere.
- Consider whether the pay offered is too high for the simple work promised. Legitimate companies pay wages based on the skills and training needed. Also, consider “Can a machine do this job?” If a task can be done faster and cheaper by another method, why is the job being offered to any consumer?
- Get a complete description of the work involved before sending any money. Consumers may find what they are asked to do after paying is far different than what was stated in the ad. Consumer should never have to pay for a job description or for needed materials.
- Do not depend on oral promises. Get in writing the refund, buy-back and cancellation policies of any company you deal with.
- Remember personal physical safety. Make sure the place where you’re being invited for an interview is a regular office or other business location. If it’s outside regular business hours, don’t go alone and make sure you tell someone where you’re going.
- If someone wants you to pay to work for them, wonder why. Up-front fees are a favourite source of income for job scam artists.