Be careful when applying for that summer job


Veronica Appia

News Reporter 

Students searching for summer jobs should ensure that the company is not luring them into a scam.

“Being able to pick out the good, the bad and the ugly is something we work (on) with students,” said Christine Colosimo, Humber College Career Advisor.

Humber Business Marketing student Souleymane Guindo is no stranger to this type of online fraud.

Companies advertise for one thing, but expect another, Guindo said.

“There are a lot of misleading things. The generic types of (qualifications) they are looking for are similar to other jobs as well, so they get you with that. It’s pretty bad,” he said.

Humber’s career advisors screen all jobs that come through the Career Centre and review them for approval prior to making them accessible to the students, said Colosimo.

“There have been situations where a job got posted and it was a bad job… We do our best, but still the odd (bad) job will come through,” said Colosimo.

Students should be wary of job postings that use email addresses such as Gmail or Yahoo and should spend time dissecting the job descriptions, said Colosimo.

There are money launderers out there who look for people to hire as their personal assistants so that they can transfer money into their accounts and claim that it is for the purpose of running errands, she says.

“The guts of the scam is that the victim will receive a counterfeit cheque or a phony email transfer,” said Daniel Williams from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. “(To them,) it looks like they have received real money.”

If members of Humber’s Career Centre find a listing to be illegitimate, they take it down right away.

Workopolis’ editor-in-chief Peter Harris said they have a similar process for dealing with job fraud.

“The RCMP has a fraud busters department and we notify them right away when anyone tries to post a fraudulent job listing or access our resume database for purposes other than legitimate hiring,” Harris said.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is interested in getting information about the scammers, as well as their means of getting money, said Williams. It gathers as much information as possible and sends it to the relevant law enforcement agency, depending on where the scammers are located, he said.

Job fraud is most common on websites that have free listings such as Kijiji and Craigslist, said Harris. Job listings on Workopolis are paid for by employers who are required to provide their identity, as well as a credit card or corporate account, he said.

“If you can’t speak to a real person, that could be a red flag,” said Harris. “Also, watch out for spelling mistakes and typos. A lot of early Internet scams were perpetrated by people who weren’t necessarily in Canada.”

Students should be skeptical of any opportunities that ask for money. They should also watch web links carefully because a lot of scams have hyperlinks in their ads that link to unrelated websites, or websites that may be similar to legitimate companies, but are in fact, fraudulent replicas, said Harris.

Students can find useful information about companies by using online resources such as LinkedIn and the Better Business Bureau, said Colosimo.

“Just investigate (the company) like crazy,” Colosimo said. “That’s doing a couple of things. It’s weeding out the bad, but it is also teaching the individual about the company.”

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