Scammers use online classified job websites or unsolicited email campaigns to recruit potential victims. Members of the public, looking for a job, answer the ad or email offer to become a “financial agent” or “client manager” and subsequently correspond via email with the fraudsters. Victims are hired as payment processors for the suspect company and their job is to receive payments from the company’s clients. Commonly, victims report receiving e-transfers or wire transfers into their bank account. After receiving the payments, the victims are directed to send money through Western Union, MoneyGram or Bitcoin to a company representative usually in Eastern Europe (e.g. Russia or Ukraine).
For example, a Kemptville female had applied to a job posting she had seen on a common job search site. The female was “hired” by the fake company, and was advised they would send her a $3,800. cheque. In return, the female had to transfer $3000. of that money into Bit Coins and e-mail it to a provided location. The female was advised that the remaining $800. would be her payment. The female received the cheque and placed it into her bank account and she transferred the money as required. Days later, the female was informed, by her bank, that the $3,800. cheque was fraudulent and that she, therefore, owed the bank $3000.
Warning Signs – How to protect yourself
- If you receive funds for any reason from an unknown individual or company and you are asked to forward it elsewhere – DON’T! Chances are you are dealing with a scammer.
- Be aware of offers of employment from what appears to be a legitimate employer; they will place ads looking for a “Financial Officer.” This usually involves collecting payments for the new employer and forwarding the money to a different country.
- Be mindful where you post your resume; scammers use legitimate websites to seek out victims.
- A legitimate employer will never send funds and request a portion of it back.
- Do your research. A simple search on the internet can save you thousands of dollars.
- Beware of unsolicited text messages offering employment.