New immigrants are particularly vulnerable to employment scams

An employment scam is a fake job offer by organizations that typically don’t exist with the intention of robbing the victim of something, be it their time, money, personal information, or worse. It is a fraudulent and criminal activity. This is not a new concept, but in my last 2 years of career coaching, I’ve been hearing about the incidence of employment scams more frequently, leading me to believe it is on the rise.

New immigrants are particularly vulnerable to employment scams – they are considered an easy target by fraudsters because they aren’t familiar with Canadian standards and practices. You may be wondering exactly how fraudsters gain access to their victim, and the answer is that in most cases, the individuals have posted their resume on job search websites or posted online adverts advertising the fact that they are in the job market. Therefore, they have exposed their personal contact information, as well as the fact that they are new to the country, as is evident in a resume or CV.

The first obvious sign of a scam is receiving a job offer that is one, too good to be true; two, receiving an offer for a job you did not apply for; and three, receiving an offer without undergoing any kind of interview process. You may be tempted to believe that individuals fall prey to this behavior as a result of ignorance, but be warned - the more authorities crack down on the scammers, they more resourceful they become. Scammers go to great lengths to enhance the perceived legitimacy of their crimes, so it is not uncommon to find company websites, letterheads, physical and email addresses, or even to undergo brief “telephone interviews”. Be safe, and err on the side of caution.

To find out more, please view:

Avoiding Employment Scams

If you want to report a suspected employment scam, you can do so here: BBB Scam Tracker

Report a scam or fraud

And because you or someone you know is new to Canada, here is some useful information about different scams taking place in Canada: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre


Patrick Cotter, career coach at Directions for Immigrants