Protecting yourself from employment scams: A guide for new Australian immigrants
As new Australian immigrants arrive in their adopted homeland, it’s essential to be aware of the risks posed by employment scams. Employment scams are deceitful schemes orchestrated by cybercriminals to trick unsuspecting job seekers into applying for fake positions or fraudulent opportunities. In this article, we will shed light on the various types of employment scams and provide practical advice on safeguarding against these threats.
- Beware of Employment Scams: New Australian immigrants should remain cautious about deceitful employment scams targeting unsuspecting job seekers with fraudulent opportunities.
- Scale and Varieties of Scams: Employment scams are a substantial concern, with reported losses in Australia reaching $9.6 million in 2022; these encompass diverse tactics like upfront fees, commission-based roles, and impersonation.
- Guarding Against Scams: To shield themselves, immigrants should recognise warning signs such as unsolicited job offers and upfront payments, while also employing protective strategies like thorough research and refraining from sharing sensitive information.
The magnitude of employment scams
Employment scams have become a significant concern, affecting individuals across various sectors. According to recent data from Scamwatch, the year 2022 saw a shocking increase in reported losses, totalling $9.6 million to employment scams in Australia. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported, indicating that the actual figure might be much higher.
Common types of employment scams
The upfront fee job:
- Cybercriminals allure job seekers with lucrative ‘work-from-home’ opportunities promising high returns.
- Applicants are required to pay upfront fees for ‘starter kits’ or ‘training materials.’
- Personal documents, such as driver’s licences or passports, are often demanded during the application process.
- In reality, the job does not exist, leading victims to lose their money and risk identity theft.
2. The commission or accounting job:
- Scammers advertise commission-based roles that involve transferring funds into offshore accounts, cryptocurrency, or gift cards.
- Unknowingly, victims become part of illegal money-moving schemes.
3. The dream job:
- Cybercriminals impersonate legitimate companies and post alluring job opportunities on various platforms.
- Fake interviews are conducted, and victims are offered jobs.
- Upon joining the company, victims discover that the organisation has no knowledge of their employment.
A real-life example: Samantha’s dream job scam
Samantha, a new Australian immigrant, was ecstatic when she received a message from the supposed “CEO” of a reputable company she admired. The CEO offered her an incredible job opportunity, and after a brief phone interview, Samantha was “hired” instantly. Anxious to impress, Samantha paid an upfront fee for induction training and handed over her personal documents. However, when she arrived at the company for his first day of work, he found that she had fallen victim to a clever employment scam. Not only did she lose money, but her identity was also at risk.
Protecting yourself from employment scams
Being aware of the red flags and taking proactive measures can help new Australian immigrants shield themselves from employment scams. Here are essential tips to stay safe:
Red flags to watch out for:
- Unsolicited job offers, especially ‘work-from-home’ opportunities, that promise high returns.
- Job offers made without a proper in-person interview or any background checks.
- Requests for upfront payments for training or materials.
- Demands for personal documents like driver’s licences or passports during the early application stages.
- Offers to transfer money on behalf of others in exchange for a commission.
Steps to safeguard against employment scams:
- Exercise caution with unsolicited job offers, especially through social media or unknown websites.
- Thoroughly research any potential employer before accepting an offer.
- Request references from past employees and verify their authenticity independently.
- Refrain from participating in jobs that demand upfront payments.
- Avoid sharing personal documents in the early stages of the application process.
- Never involve your bank account in financial transactions related to a job.
For new Australian immigrants, the risk of falling victim to employment scams is real and can have severe consequences. By staying informed and vigilant, job seekers can protect themselves from cybercriminals’ deceptive tactics. Utilise the tips provided in this article to ensure a safe and successful job search journey in your new home.
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