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• Feb. 27, 2024

When you’re searching for a new job, the last thing on your mind is likely a fraudulent job posting. You’re probably more concerned with polishing up your resume and writing a strong cover letter than worrying about someone trying to con you.

But, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, job scams are becoming increasingly common in Canada – a trend that spiked during the pandemic.

That’s why if you find yourself on the hunt for a new job, it's important to check the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's website to be aware of the potential job scams fraudsters are attempting to run.

Read on to learn how some job scams work, what you need to be on the lookout for, and tips to help you avoid these kinds of scams.

How some job scams work

One type of job scam can involve a fraudster posing as an employer who makes fraudulent offers of employment to unsuspecting victims. Fraudsters will sometimes advertise these fake jobs on legitimate job search websites, in classified ads, and through direct email or texts.

Once the fraudsters have offered their target victim a job, the fraudster (i.e. the "employer") convinces the victim to send them funds. The fraudster will often claim that these funds are either for training, uniforms or supplies for the job – none of which is true. Another tactic fraudsters may use (once the victim has agreed to the job) is to send the victim a counterfeit cheque with a convincing story about why they need them to cash the cheque and send back some of the funds.

In this scenario, the fraudster is essentially using the victim to commit fraud on their behalf by having the victim deposit a counterfeit cheque to the victim's deposit account after which the victim withdraws their own money and then sends some of it to the fraudster.

Some tips to help you avoid being caught in a job scam

Here are a few tips to help protect you from job scams:

Keep your guard up. Most legitimate employers will conduct an interview (in-person or by video) before hiring you for a job. You should be wary of anyone who offers a job strictly over email or text, or an employer with an overly simple interview process.

Do your research. Check out the company that you are applying to and look for online reports of scams relating to the type of job you've been offered. You might also consider asking for references from current employees about what it's like to work at the company.

Watch out for red flags. A job that promises "easy money" may be a red flag. Other red flags may include poorly written or vague job descriptions.

Don't send money. A legitimate employer won't charge you to apply for a job or for job training and won't ask you to send them money directly or through a third party.

Know your responsibilities around depositing cheques, and who is on the hook for the money if the cheque is returned as counterfeit. For more information on how cheque fraud works, read this TD Stories article here.

    More ways to help protect yourself from job scams

    Get educated: Check the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website. It's a great resource to help you learn about common fraud trends and scams so you can be better prepared to avoid them.

    Always be wary of anyone who sends you money and then asks for some of it to be sent back – particularly if you've never met them.

      If you've been the victim of a job scam

      Report it: If you or a family member has fallen victim to a job scam, report it to your local police, as well as to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

      Talk about it: If you've fallen victim to a scam, share your story. The more people who know about these scams, the harder it can be for fraudsters to take advantage of us all.

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