By Brittany Stuckless

Posted on February 21, 2022

Navigating job scams is an unfortunate reality for newcomers in Canada. Immigrants need to find employment when they settle and may not be aware of the many scams out there. According to the Better Business Bureau, job scams are also on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sadly, fraudsters know that job searchers are now more vulnerable than ever, with many jobs not being a reliable source of income due to public health measures. This is especially true for the restaurant, fitness, and entertainment industries. Job scams take advantage of people who need to find work fast.

Scammers mainly try to access sensitive information like credit cards and bank accounts. They do this by using tactics that job hunters can learn to recognize. When searching for employment opportunities on websites like Indeed and Monster, looking out for some classic scam strategies can ensure someone doesn’t fall for a phony job post.

Word Choice

While legitimate job listings will present accurate information and speak highly of the company, job scams use sensational phrasing that sounds suspicious. Scammers may use enticing sentences, such as, “this is the job of your dreams!”

Furthermore, they may use appealing opener lines to draw people in. For instance, they may say, “No experience? No problem! Earn money sitting at home with no training!” The phrasing often sounds similar to an advertisement or a salesperson trying to sell you something. If the job looks like it’s trying too hard to advertise, chances are it’s a scam.

Scammers are also aware that people know about their tactics. This means they’ll use word choices that try to reassure job hunters that they’re legitimate. For example, a posting may say, “this isn’t just a get-rich-quick scheme; it’s the real deal!”

Asking for Payment

Decent job posts will never ask for upfront payment from applicants and new hires. If a potential “employer” requests payment, leave the situation and don’t contact them anymore. Also, it’s essential to know that even if an online job listing doesn’t mention a payment requirement, it may still come up during the hiring process.

Job scams may ask for payment for training problems, start-up kits, or simply to secure the “high-demand” position. They may also state they need money for background checks or supplies. Be on the lookout for ways they ask and their creative phrasing, as fraudsters are constantly reworking their strategies.

No Job Requirements

Many jobs require little experience. However, job scams will promise pay that’s too high for no experience, which just doesn’t add up. Real job listings also include duties and responsibilities, which are never included in a job scam post.

Another key sign of a scam is skipping the interview process. Legitimate jobs will always have some sort of interview before hiring, with many jobs having more than one interview. They may be over the phone, in person, or on a platform like Zoom.

Unrealistic Promises

Does the job listing promise instant wealth? Are there claims of making $2000 a week sitting at home? If a job listing boasts unrealistic, too-good-to-be-true guarantees, it’s probably a scam. Real jobs don’t try to rope employees by appealing to their wildest dreams.

A legitimate job posting will list real perks, such as healthcare benefits, paid time off, livable wages, and sick days. All job seekers should be on the lookout for these!

Lack of Company Information

When it comes to company information, fraudsters are purposely vague. Genuine job listings will direct job searchers to the company website.

Checking the employer’s email address is also a wise choice. It’s probably a scam if an email address is from a public domain like Hotmail or Gmail. Professional employers almost always use the company’s domain for their email addresses.

It Just Doesn’t Feel Right

When in doubt, always trust first impressions. During the job hiring process, things may feel strange as the “employer” begins contact. Maybe they try to reach out at unusual times, or there is a sense of urgency and a lack of professionalism in emails or phone calls.

The employer may even seem hostile or on edge, since they’re trying to take advantage of someone. It’s a good idea to be aware of these strange communications. Always try looking elsewhere for a job if things feel unprofessional.

Types of Job Scams

Knowing the tactics is just half the battle against scammers. It’s also helpful to know the types of scams out there.

Additional Resources

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