Employment Scams Target Alberta Jobseekers

13 May 2015

With the rise of online job boards has come an increase in scammers’ ability to take advantage of the willingness of job seekers to share their personal information. Since anyone can set up a website and make it look like it belongs to a legitimate company, it’s easier now than ever to hoodwink people looking for employment. Some employment scams are intended only to collect personal information for identity theft, while others will demand cash or credit card numbers in order to “process” the application.

Recently, several bogus job scams have been discovered in Alberta. Recently hit hard by the loss of thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry, the province has more jobseekers than anywhere else in Canada at the moment, and scammers seem to have figured this out.

According to Service Alberta, an entirely fictitious business called Daglo Oil & Gas Co. has been posting highly attractive job offers on Alberta job boards. The catch? Successful applicants are asked to pay a fee for “work visas, travel expenses or other pre-screening” before being hired, after which they find out that both the job and the company don’t exist.

Although the Daglo website, dagloagency.com, may look like a realistic website for an oil and gas company at first glance, there are several clear signs of fraud once you look more closely at the site. The logo is heavily pixellated on the main page, which most large companies would not allow. Moreover, the executives listed on the page are real people, but none of them are listed elsewhere on the internet as working for a Daglo Oil & Gas. For example, Suzanne Loov, listed as “General Counsel and Corporate Secretary” on the Daglo page, does actually hold that title, but at Connacher Oil and Gas, not at Daglo.

Other signs that a job posted online might be a scam include:

  • Unusually high salary. If you find a job that says it pays far more than other positions you’ve held or encountered in your field, it should set off fraud alarm bells. Scammers often post unrealistically high salary offers in hopes of luring in more applicants.
  • No experience necessary. Some jobs can actually be performed by someone with no experience in the field, but these types of jobs tend to be low-paid. Beware of jobs that claim to offer high pay and extensive responsibility to candidates with no prior work experience.
  • Non-business email addresses. A lot of businesses use Gmail these days, but if a company’s recruiting emails are coming from someone with a hotmail.ca account, it’s probably a bad sign. Moreover, if these emails are being sent outside of business hours, it’s a good sign that they’re coming from someone’s personal account. If they’re arriving at extremely odd hours, like 3 a.m., it may mean the scammers are located in a different time zone.
  • Asking for personal information online. Most employers will need information like your social insurance number and bank account routing number once you actually start the job, but be very wary if you are asked for this information online before you start. Legitimate employers take care of that type of paperwork in person to avoid the risk of fraud.
  • Hiring on the spot without an interview. If you send in your resume and the first thing you hear back is “You’re hired!”, the job is probably fraudulent. Competition for jobs is so stiff these days that an interview is required even for the least prestigious of positions.

To be more confident that your finances aren’t being affected by fraud, sign up for a credit monitoring service that can alert you to certain types of account activity.