Job Scams

Common Job Scams

Car Wrap

The "employer" asks via email, text message or through websites, offering to pay the student a weekly salary in exchange for affixing decals to his/her vehicle, turning it into mobile billboard. The student who responds is then sent a cheque for a few thousand dollars and are instructed to deposit that cheque into their bank account, withhold a certain amount, then withdraw the remaining cash and deposit it into the account of the person who has ostensibly been hired to "wrap" their car in advertising.  However, the deposited cheque is a counterfeit, and by the time the student's bank discovers that, the cheque has cleared - leaving the student obliged to pay back the bank the entire amount of the cheque. For the full story, visit car wrap scam

Office Assistant / Mystery Shopper

The "employer" sends a list of tasks to help the student fulfill his/her personal assistance or mystery shopping tasks. The student is then told that one of the assignments is to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union. The student receives a cheque with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a name provided. The student will find out later that the cheque is counterfeit, thus making him/her accountable to pay for the funds he/she wired.

Guaranteed Employment

The "employer" asks the student, in order to secure his/her position, he or she must go through a course to be qualified. The student is asked to pay a fee for the course and its materials, and sign a registration form during the job interview. The student will find out later that the employer never sends out any material to him/her, and will not refund the money nor providing a copy of the contract.

Work Overseas

The "employer" promises a job in a foreign country and the student is invited for an interview in a hotel suite or rented office. The student is then told that he/she must pay a fee for visas or paperwork up front. In some cases, the employer asks the student to send money for an "information package" to secure the promised foreign job. Later on, when the student receives the package, it only contains a list of company names.

Employment Agency

The "employment agency" contacts the student who may have posted his/her resumes online or with a job search engine. The agency then invites the student for an interview and promises an employment with good salary. The student is pressured to sign a contract and pay an administration fee or a fee that the student will be refunded later when he/she is hired. Later on, the student never hears back from the agency or he/she will be given a list of referral companies that have never heard of the agency before.

Bogus Business Opportunities

The “company” advises specialized business opportunities such as Janitorial Service Franchise with phrases like "no experience required" or "experts available to coach you". The company promises the student contracts in exchange for an "investment" fee of several thousand dollars which will make the student a "sub-contractor" or "partner". The company then assures the student that the investment fee will be refunded after a specific timeframe. Later on, the student will learn that the company never delivers what has been promised. Other similar scams include: Starting an Internet business, multilevel marketing, buying a franchise.

Work-at-Home Business

The "employer" asks the student for a small fee to learn how to earn lots of money by stuffing envelopes at home. After sending the payment, the student finds out that the promoter never had any work to offer. The employer then asks the student to tell and ask his/her relatives and friends to buy the same envelop-stuffing "opportunity". The only way the student can make money is if other people respond the same way as he/she did. Other similar scams include: Assembly or craft work, rebate processing, online searches, or medical billing.

Direct E-mail Job Opportunities

Companies send e-mails directly to individual email addresses.  The emails are often from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and occasionally a fake company domain name.  The e-mails may contain a link to a posting that appears to come from a legitimate job search site or company but it is in fact fraudulent.  The "employer" of the e-mails usually provide students opportunities to become a company representative or a regional manager with flexibility to work from home.

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Tips to Protect Yourself

When you are applying a job:

  • Never send your bank account or credit card details to anyone that you do not trust. 
  • Beware of products or schemes claiming to guarantee income and job offers requiring an upfront fee or sending money through a money transfer service.
  • Do not believe in anyone who promises you a federal or postal job.
  • Remember: there are no shortcuts to wealth - the only people that make money are the scammers.

For more information on "How to tell whether a job lead may be a scam", visit:
Fraud Prevention | Job Scams

To report fraud, please contact Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at How to Report Fraud

Regarding the jobs listed on myFuture: General Information for students regarding jobs listed on myFuture