Students need to be aware of summer employment scams. (File photo)

Students need to be aware of summer employment scams. (File photo)

Summer job time in Greater Victoria cause for wariness, Better Business Bureau says

Consumer watchdog encourages job applicants to do their homework on potential employers

Be on the lookout for unscrupulous scammers targeting students seeking summer jobs.

With many students starting the hunt for summer employment at the end of May, the Better Business Bureau is warning would-be employees about the risk of fake job postings.

According to the BBB, employment scams were some of the riskiest in Canada in 2020, with 65 per cent of those reported victimizing students and individuals age 25 to 34.

“More than half of employment scam victims were seeking work-from-home opportunities,” Karla Laird, senior manager for media and communications with BBB Lower Mainland, said in a May 21 media release.

“As students search for flexible employment options, they need to keep in mind that not all jobs being posted are legitimate and remember to verify details before submitting resumes with all their personal information,” she said. “Employment scams don’t just affect those who lose money. For every employment scam victim who lost money last year, at least one other worked without pay, and yet another lost personal information that could lead to identity theft.”

ALSO READ: Beware of scam offering enticing prize from Amazon: Better Business Bureau

Surprisingly, 65 per cent of reported employment scams were related to becoming a “warehouse redistribution co-ordinator,” or some similar title involving the reshipment of packages, some of which involve stolen goods, Laird noted.

Scammers often impersonated well-known retailers such as Amazon and Walmart to appear legitimate, she added.

BBB strongly suggests being cautious regarding package reshipment and secret shopper positions with generic titles such as administrative assistant, or customer service representative.

Positions that don’t require special training or knowledge appeal to many applicants, which scammers utilize to their advantage.

If the posting is for a well-known business, check their website to verify the position is legitimate. Identical postings in multiple cities could be a scam, and be cautious of jobs advertising high pay and flexible hours.

Pressure to sign on immediately could be a scam, and people should be especially wary if the position is offered without an interview, or promises a large income, providing the applicant pays for coaching, training, or equipment.

Never deposit unexpected or suspicious cheques, and be cautious about providing a Social Insurance Number or banking information. Be alert for signs of an overpayment scam. Legitimate companies will not overpay and ask for compensation by requiring that money be sent elsewhere.

Ensure that employee requirements, qualifications, job descriptions, remuneration, and the duration of employment are in writing. For more information visit bbb.org.

ALSO READ: ‘Relatively bleak:’ Post-secondary students face rising debt and few summer jobs

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

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