We were recently contacted by CBC News regarding a Vancouver, BC woman who was defrauded out of $500 after being a target of a job scam. After completing a written interview, was told she was hired and signed an employment contract. She was then instructed to send money to pay for a police record check in the U.K.

Watch behind-the-scenes footage of our interview here, and keep reading this post for tips on how to detect this kind of fraud – as well as information about where to go for help if you find yourself a target.

Tips on how to sniff out a job scam

  • Know the risks. While there are many legitimate offers on sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji, be cautious when looking for employment. Keep in mind that these are free, unmonitored sites.
  • Take a closer read. Before applying for any job online, take a close look at the content of the ad and watch for red flags. Are there spelling mistakes in the description? Does the company not have a website?
  • Keep realistic. Does the job description seems out of touch with the offered salary? Remember: if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do your research. Google the company behind the job posting to research its legitimacy. Consider giving the business a call to ensure they’re actually hiring for the position.
  • Don’t pay upfront fees. Remember that a legitimate business would not ask a potential employee to pay funds upfront to obtain a job.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

Contact your local police and report the scam to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Contact your credit card provider or bank if you’ve provided the scammer with any personal financial information.


The Little Black Book of Scams, presented by the Competition Bureau
Top 6 red flags for buying online from a private seller