Job scams

Consumers and businesses should be on the lookout for the following job scams targeting Canadians:

Car wrapping scam

Consumers receive an unsolicited text message stating they can earn $300 to $500 per week by wrapping their car, truck, SUV or bike with a "company" logo. An email link is provided and consumers who respond receive instructions and a contract followed by a cheque in the mail. Consumers are instructed to deposit the cheque and withdraw a portion of the funds and deposit into a specific bank account, fees are to pay a graphics company and/or other fees. Consumers then learn that the cheque is counterfeit and they are responsible for any funds withdrawn. Fraudster's will use the name of legitimate companies in an attempt to make the job seem real.

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself

Mystery shopper

Scammers use free online classified websites like Kijiji, Craig's List, Monster and Workopolis to recruit potential victims. Consumers answer a tempting online post, email or text message ad to become a mystery shopper. The "employer" sends a letter with shopping tasks to be completed by the "employee" at a particular store. They enclose a cheque with the letter to assist the "employee" with purchasing goods to fulfill the shopping tasks. The "employee" is told to deposit the cheque and keep a portion of the money as a payment. The remaining funds are to be used to send a wire at a money service business like Western Union or MoneyGram to test the company's procedure and customer service skills. Eventually, the cheque is returned as counterfeit and the "employee" is accountable to pay for the funds that were wired.

In a variation of this scam, consumers receive a text message saying they have been selected to be a mystery shopper. Shoppers Drug Mart, Shoppers Canada, Mystery Shopper are among some of the companies falsely impersonated as employers.

Interested consumers who reply, receive a cheque in the mail with instructions to:

The "employee" is told to deposit the cheque and to keep a portion of the money as a payment. Victims are informed by financial institutions the cheques are counterfeit. Victims who cash and send funds by MSB are responsible to reimburse their banks for the funds lost. Payments often range from $900 to $1,500.

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself

Financial agent

Scammers use free online classified websites or email campaigns to recruit potential victims. Consumers answer the ad or email offer to become a "financial agent" or "client manager" and correspond by email with the fraudsters. The victim works as a payment processor for the suspect company and receives payments from its clients. Victims report receiving etransfers or wire transfers into their bank account, and they are then directed to send the money through Western Union or MoneyGram to a representative in Eastern Europe (e.g. Russia or Ukraine).

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself

Reshipping scams

Scammers post work-at-home jobs on free online classified websites or career sites, usually advertising for "merchandising manager" or "package processing assistant." Duties include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email. If you accept the job, you'll receive packages containing one of two things: merchandise bought with stolen credit cards (the scammer needs your help to smuggle the goods out of the country) or counterfeit cheques (the scammer wants your help to produce and distribute them to other victims).

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself

Debt settlement collection scams

Scammers seek legal and business professionals through social networking sites link LinkedIn with job opportunities to assist in the collection of unsettled debt or payment disputes. Fraudsters pretend to be from a foreign country and say they are trying to collect debt from a company in Canada. Victims receive contact information for the debtor, which will willingly agree to settle the debt immediately. Victims then receive payment in the form of a counterfeit cheque. Once it is deposited, fraudsters direct the victim to wire transfer the money back to fraud accounts in Asian countries (e.g. Japan and China).

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself

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