The Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch wants to make you aware that scammers are using money transfer scams to extort money and steal your personal information.
Police ask you to consider this question: If you receive money from a source, why would you send any back?
The OPP reports that money transfer and cheque fraud scams are successful for fraudsters because they constantly find ways to put a new spin on an old scam.
Investigators have found two scenarios that are most commonly used.
In one version, scammers will respond to a resume containing your personal information that you’ve sent to a job site, and try to convince you that your qualifications are ‘exactly what they are looking for.’
Conversations lead to a job offer but there will be some form of financial transaction that needs to take place — such as a prepayment for “professional services.”
Fraudsters may also send you money for training or further education, but the amount of money is more than the agreed upon amount.
The scammers request the “extra funds” or the real money be sent back to them.
The money that was originally deposited is defaulted by the bank and in the end, the money that the victims had sent is gone.
In one case, the victim had received a cheque for approximately $275,000.
However, the instructions that accompanied the cheque stated that a five percent commission be paid, five percent more for taxes and a further $135,000 be sent back to the so-called employer.
The scam continued until that victim had been ripped-off for over $200,000.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, these types of scams defrauded victims across Canada of approximately $25 million in 2018.
Police suggest you think twice before uploading your resume to a job posting site that requires your personal information.
Once you have had communication with the prospective employer, do research on the company.
If possible, physically go to where the job is located to confirm the information.
Then, provide your resume to the person in charge of hiring.
As well, when dealing with online buy-and-sell sites, consider dealing face-to-face with the prospective buyer, pay with cash, and try to deal locally – perhaps at a ‘safe trade zone’ if available.
If a seller pushes you to electronically transfer money, assume it is a scam.
If you or someone you know suspect they’ve been a victim of a money transfer scam, contact your local police service.
You can also file a complaint through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.
In the end, police say “Recognize, Reject and Report Fraud“.