Employment Scams, What To Look Out For And How To Avoid Them.
Ever since people have had money, there have been those that have tried to scam them out of it. The only thing that’s changed is that now scams have moved online, and with the popularity of cryptocurrency, it’s more important than ever for people to remain vigilant.
What Are the Signs to Look Out for?
Unlike many scams, employment fraud can be used to steal more than just a person’s money. In some cases, job seekers can find themselves the victims of identity theft after inadvertently giving would-be employers their email and bank account details. Other times they’ll be required to pay a fee to start working, be asked to send or receive mysterious packages, or withdraw and deposit large amounts of money (a form of money laundering). All of these are red flags that indicate employment scams are taking place.
While it’s true that starting at a new job requires you to give out some of this information to your employer, they’re given after the job’s secured. If you find that they want any of upfront before you’re even offered the position, then in all probability, the position’s fraudulent.
What Are the Different Types of Cryptocurrency Job Scams?
1. Work From Home
There’s always been a certain appeal from working from home. With the rise of Covid-19, that appeal has only grown over time. These can be difficult to spot as there are several types of this job scam around. Learn more here.
Some scammers send emails claiming that you’re the perfect candidate for the position they urgently need to fill. Still, before proceeding, they need personal information like bank accounts, emails, and perhaps your driver’s license. This information can then be used to commit identity theft. If hours seem too flexible, the pay seems too high, and they offer you the position straight away, in likelihood it isn’t real.
3. Job Boards
While popular job search sites like Seek or Indeed are legitimate and (for the most part) reliable sources for finding work, sometimes bogus job adverts make it onto their websites posing as the real thing. In one example, job hunters in Western Australia reported receiving emails advertising jobs and encouraging them to click a link that took them to a fake website that asked them to give out personal information.
4. Social Media
With social media now playing a more significant part in our everyday lives, scammers have inevitably begun targeting sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to take advantage of vulnerable people. Despite doing their best to filter out the genuine offers from the fakes, these fake job offers still find their way onto sites like these.
5. Government Positions
This is where scammers offer a position in a governmental department; this can be very difficult to detect since the bogus websites they send you look authentic. Fortunately, there are telltale signs that it's a scam. If they ask you to put down money for either the job or any training, chances are you’re dealing with a fraud. No government institution should ask you to pay them in exchange for employment.
6. Fake URL’S
Often, fraudsters will create fake websites that strongly resemble legitimate ones to trick people into divulging personal information. Like some other scams, its primary goal is to profit from identity fraud.
How Often Do People Fall Victim to Cryptocurrency Job Scams?
Each year tens of thousands of New Zealanders are scammed, and it’s estimated that scammers target one in ten people. From October 2021 to March 2021, an estimated 7,000 people reported losses of an excess of $80,000,000 due to cryptocurrency scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Last year the BNZ reported that one in three Kiwi’s under the age of 44 will be targeted by a cryptocurrency scam at some point. It was also reported that an average of NZ 1,638 was stolen during the last lockdown. However, those numbers could be much higher as some victims are too ashamed to come forward.
In that same year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that 16,012 people said they had been scammed online and that their monetary losses resulted in 59 million (NZD 87,309,675.
Please stay safe whenever job hunting; there are many excellent opportunities out there, but it’s essential to keep your guard up. The onus is on you, the job seeker, to do your research, check, and re-check any vacancy, and if at any stage during the application process you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to back out.
If you think that you or someone you know may be a victim of a scam, check out our comprehensive guide which covers how to report scams in New Zealand as well as where to find support.
As for keeping your cryptocurrency wallet safe, never give out your private key or passwords. For more, check out our crypto wallet security tips.
About the author:
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. Do not take this as personalised financial advice or investment advice. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the opinion of BitPrime.
Last updated: 28/01/2022