Employment Scams

There are a variety of employment scams that target those seeking work as well as those that are already employed.

Major Warning Signs:

  • No legitimate employer should be asking you to deposit company funds into your personal banking account in order to make payments to other parties on behalf of the organization.
  • No legitimate manager should be asking you to send them verification of credentials, money, banking information or passwords.
  • If a request from a colleague or superior sounds suspicious, investigate it before acting on it! Fraudsters have ways of making emails appear to be coming from legitimate locations (even internal locations!). Be cautious. Pause and investigate something that doesn’t seem quite right.

Employment Scam 1: Helping the Boss

  1. A scammer sends an employee an email that appears to come from the owner, the president, or another high-ranking employee.
  2. The email claims the boss is working offsite and needs help to buy gift cards for employee rewards or birthday gifts, or requests that a large money transfer is made.

Employment Scam 2: Compromised Account

  1. A scammer sends an email from a compromised and/or spoofed email account that appears to come from a known contact, such as a family member or friend.
  2. The email claims that the sender needs assistance to buy gift cards for birthday gifts or something else.
  3. If an email appears to come from someone you know but is asking you to do something abnormal, it is best practice to connect with that person through another means (phone) to verify the request before taking action.

Employment Scam 3: Head Office Scam

  1. A scammer calls a victim and claims be from the “head office”.
  2. They tell the employee who answers the phone that there are problems with one of the financial products offered, such as gift cards or money transfer services or that they need their assistance to “verify” certain system or login credentials.
  3. They ask the employee to select some prepaid cards, activate them, and provide them to the scammer. The scammer may also ask them to conduct a series of money transfers.

Employment Scam 4: Payroll Scam

  1. A scammer sends an email that appears to come from an existing employee.
  2. They request a change to the employee’s direct deposit information.
  3. This tricks the company into depositing the employee’s paycheque into a fraudulent account.

Employment Scam 5: Fraudulent Cheque

  1. A scammer poses as a not for profit or a small business and advertises part-time, remote employment opportunities online.
  2. Victims will submit an application for the job and will be contacted by the scammer posing as their new employer.
  3. Their first task will be to deposit a large cheque from the employer into their personal bank account and then use this money to make smaller purchases on gift cards or e-transfers to other “organizations”.
  4. They are asked to send proof/confirmation of these purchases.
  5. The bank will then notify the Victim that the cheque that they deposited didn’t clear. At this point, the Victim will have used their own money to send the e-transfers or purchase the gift cards.