What is a scam?
Jobs and employment scams trick you into handing over your money by offering you a ‘guaranteed’ way to make fast money or a high-paying job for little effort.
Once you pay the fee you may not receive any job offers or are unlikely to be paid for any work you complete.
What to look out for:
- The scammer contacts you by email, letter or phone and offers you a job that requires very little effort for high returns, or a guaranteed way to make money quickly. You may even come across false job opportunities on classified ad websites.
- The job on offer may require you to do something simple such as stuffing envelopes or assembling a product using materials that you have to buy from the ‘employer’. To accept the job you will be asked to pay for a starter kit or materials relevant to the job or scheme.
- If you pay the fee you may not receive anything or what you do receive is not what you expected or were promised. For example, instead of a ‘business plan’, you may be sent instructions for how to get other people to join the same scheme.
- On completion of your work, the scammer will refuse to pay you for some or all of your work, using excuses such as the work not being up to the required standard.
- Another type of job opportunity scam asks you to use your bank account to receive and pass on payments for a foreign company. The scammers promise you a percentage commission for each payment you pass on. This is likely to be a form of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
- If you provide your account details the scammer may use them to steal your money or commit other fraudulent activities.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited 'work from home' opportunities or job offers, particularly those that offer a 'guaranteed income' or require you to pay an upfront fee.
- If the job involves making or selling a certain type of product or service, find out if there is really a market for it.
- Ask for references from other people who have done the work or used the product, and make the effort to speak to these people.
- Do not deal with an employer or company that does not have a street address, they can be difficult to contact or trace later on
- Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.
- Never agree to transfer money for someone else - this is money laundering and it is a criminal offence.
If you've been scammed:
- If you think you have provided your account details, passport, tax file number, licence, Medicare or other personal identification details to a scammer, contact your bank, financial institution, or other relevant agencies immediately.
- We encourage you to report scams to the Australian Competiton & Consumer Commission (ACCC) via the report a scam.
- The ACCC also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.
- Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.
- Contact us and provide information of the scammer’s profile name and any other details that may help them to stop others being scammed.