Work-from-home scams

Having a paying work-from-home job might be particularly appealing during the COVID-19 outbreak. But be on your guard!

Fraudsters are soliciting job seekers on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Craigslist and Kijiji. The offers may seem very realistic and may come from both known and unknown companies, including financial institutions.

To make their offers appear legitimate, the fraudsters may ask you to complete employment, income tax or access to personal and banking information forms. They might even interview you via videoconference or text messaging.

After you get the job, the fraudsters will ask you to use your own bank account during the probationary period for security reasons. They’ll tell you that you can use the company’s accounts after your probationary period is over and trust has been established.

The fraudsters will wire money to your bank account or send you a cheque for you to deposit. You’ll then be required to transfer the amount, minus your commission, to a third-party account, often in cryptocurrency.

Not long afterward, you’ll receive a message from your financial institution notifying you that the cheque or transfer was NSF. You won’t be able to recover the money you transferred to the third-party account.

Your efforts to contact your new “employer” and get an explanation will be unsuccessful. After doing some checks, you’ll realize that the company doesn’t exist or never offered the position.


To avoid this type of fraud:

  • Be careful if you are guaranteed a higher salary than you are usually offered, for a job that seems very simple. When it’s too good to be true… it probably is!
  • Avoid accepting offers that are too good to be true - they are usually false.
  • Be careful if the recruiter asks you to deposit payments to your bank account in order to then transfer them somewhere else.
  • Be careful if the recruiter sends e-mails from a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account
  • Be careful if the recruiter asks you for personal and banking information even before confirming that you’ve been hired
  • Before accepting a job, research the company to make sure it exists. Even if the company is known, check its official website and contact its human resources department to ask for information about the job and confirm that it actually exists.
End of the insight