Scammers thrive on taking advantage of job seekers’ vulnerability, requesting for personal information or even money in exchange for jobs.

The appeal of Canada and the Canadian job market makes it the quintessential bait for unsuspecting job seekers.

Since the pandemic, online frauds have been on the rise. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), there were more than 68,000 fraud complaints filed in 2021. The losses totaled $231 million, which was more than twice what was lost in 2020.

A general rule of thumb is if a job offer is too good to be true, then you’re probably right

Here are several red flags that may indicate you have a fake job offer on your hands:

  1. It’s probably not real if you didn’t apply for it. Fake job offers are usually unsolicited. They’re from companies to which you didn’t apply, and for jobs to which you didn’t apply.
  2. They may pay well and have broad qualifications, making it appear that anyone may be a suitable fit (over age 18, no experience required, etc.) They’re made to appeal to your emotions, to make you believe your job hunt is done and you’ve discovered a reliable source of income.
  3. The sender’s email address may or may not be suspicious. While legitimate company owners may use free email services such as Gmail, it is more likely that companies will have their own domain names in their email address. Keep in mind, though, that fraudsters can use current company emails to impersonate as recruiters. If you feel you’ve gotten a good job offer from a legitimate organization, don’t respond to the email; instead, contact someone else within the company to verify if they tried to contact you. If the sender’s email has no contact information, this might be a red sign.
  4. To obtain the job, the fake recruiter may require you to pay money. You should not be required to pay for a valid employment offer, nor should you be required to engage in any transactional activity such as providing your bank details to receive any form of incentive from the company.
  5. Finally, they may request for sensitive data such as your home address, bank details, certificates, and other sensitive documents. Do not give out your personal information without performing a background check on the sender and the company they’re representing.

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