Fraud Alert: Job Scams

MysteryShopperI recently visited the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website because I was frustrated with number of weird phone calls I received.  While on the site I came across this information about job scams:

“Any false, deceptive or misleading solicitation offering employment and requesting an advance fee to secure the job or obtain the materials to perform the job or any job offer involving money transfer or wiring funds related to cashing monetary instruments.

The “mystery shopper” scam is still victimizing Canadian consumers. The victim answers an enticing ad to become a mystery shopper. The ” employer ” sends a letter, with mystery shopping tasks to be completed, and a cheque to help the victim fulfill his/her mystery shopping tasks. The victim will likely cash the cheque he/she was given first. One of the tasks will be to use a money transfer company and wire a large portion of the money to a name provided, in order to test the company’s procedure and customer service skills. The victim will find out later that the cheque is counterfeit, thus making the victim accountable to pay for the funds he/she wired.”

When I worked in the retail and hospitality industry I was visited by mystery shoppers frequently.  Sometimes I see job ads for mystery shoppers and think that it would be an interesting job.

Anne-Marie Rolfe at the has done some investigating on exposing job scams.  Here are her steps:

  1. Research – look for opportunities that fit what you are looking for
  2. Investigate – do some poking around on their website to find the facts about the company who’s posted the job add
  3. Validate – use outside sources to confirm the facts you’ve discovered
  4. Stay Informed – watch out for scams and note when others post about them
  5. Safety 1st – you personal information is currency on the internet, don’t pass it around lightly. She strongly suggests a separate email account for applying online.

Have you run into any jobs postings that are too good to be true and end up being a scam?

This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt, a blogger for the My ESC website. Find out more about Miranda through her website:

  1. #1 by Miranda Vande Kuyt on May 10, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Wow – just saw this article in the Vancouver Sun of an example of a mystery shopper scam. If it’s too good to be true, do your homework!

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