Finding a job is challenging enough without worrying about employment scams and fraudulent job offers. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.
Identifying Fraudulent Job Postings
Scammers imitating legitimate organizations use common job posting resources to advertise fake job opportunities. Online job boards, job aggregators, social media accounts, and classified ads in the newspaper can all be easily abused by scammers. Opportunities found through these and other related resources should be investigated before you submit a job application.
The best way to determine if a job is legitimate is to go directly to the website of the hiring company. Most companies include a careers page on their website that lists all available employment opportunities. Be sure to type the website URL yourself, or conduct an internet search for the company to ensure the website you are visiting is genuine. Do not use links from the posting as they may redirect you to a counterfeit site mimicking the actual company website.
If you are unable to find the job on the company careers page, or if the company does not have a careers page, contact them directly using contact information provided on their “Contact Us” page. Note the position title you are inquiring about as well as the site on which you found it.
Protect Yourself: Tips to Avoid Recruitment Scams
- Don’t post your resume online: scammers and identity thieves can find you just as easily as legitimate companies.
- Read job postings and all communications closely: spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors are common warning signs that the posting is not what it appears.
- Research companies you are interested in before submitting an application: companies whose names are being used in recruitment scams often post notices about known scams on their careers page.
Keep detailed records of all applications you have submitted, including: where you found the opportunity; how and when you submitted your application; details on any follow-up communications you may have had with the hiring company.
- Pay attention to email addresses used in communications: companies typically have their own domain name and will not use web-based email service providers such as Yahoo or Google. Compare email addresses to others listed on the genuine company website – there may be a difference of only one character between a correct domain name and the counterfeit.
- Never include sensitive personal information in a job application, including: banking or other financial information; your social insurance number (SIN) or work permit; copies or scanned images of your passport, driver’s license, or health insurance card
- Don’t respond to unsolicited interview requests or offers of employment.
- Never accept money from or send money to an employer as part of the recruitment process.
Fraudulent Interviews and Offers of Employment
Scam artists go to great lengths to make their fraud appear convincing. As part of the fraud, you may be invited to interviews and/or receive offers of employment that seem legitimate – be cautious and watch for any suspicious activities or requests, such as:
- Interviewers asking for any sensitive personal information for security clearance purposes before or during the interview.
- Receiving an offer letter without completing an in-person interview or receiving a call formally offering you a position.
- Offer letters printed in black & white and/or on low-quality paper.
- Receiving a cheque with an offer letter.
Remember - if a job offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!
University of Alberta students and alumni seeking help in identifying recruitment scams and fraudulent offers are advised to contact the Engineering Employment Centre. A coordinator will help you to confirm the nature of the job posting or offer and, in the case of fraudulent offers, ensure the issue is reported to the authorities.
For more information, visit the Canada Anti-Fraud Centre