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Avoid Job Scams (4/10)

Canadian Flag on Parliament Hill
Canadian Flag on Parliament Hill

Welcome to the “How To… Find A Job In Canada” series!

Saying that last year wasn’t great economically speaking is an understatement. Pretty much all countries worldwide suffered from the global economic downturn and Canada was no exception. Yet, a lot of people are still considering moving to Canada, while others are already in the process and are probably worried about whether they will get a job at all.

There is no easy answer when it comes to employment. You know the story… a bit of patience, a bit of skills, a bit of luck.

I’m not a job counselor, and I’m not an expert. But I do know how it works in Canada and I’m hoping to pass along some information that may not be obvious to everyone. A post will be published every Saturday… enjoy!

Newcomers to Canada are usually very eager to find a job. Add that to the fact that they may not be familiar with the local job market and that when money is starting to run out people would do anything, it make them very vulnerable to various job scam. Learn how to recognize them!

The “work at home” scams

This is everybody’s dream: work at home and get rich quick! No experience required, plenty of money to be made. Really? Nope.

You will often find these ads in local newspapers or in free newspapers, such as Metro. While there are legitimate work at home job offers, you should always be very suspicious at first. Remember:

  • Check out the company on the internet. If the company is legit, you should be able to find some good testimonies, or at least some solid info on the job. Don’t be fooled by fake testimonies: some scammers flood forums with very positive posts about their experience. They are not hard to recognize: they usually only register on forums to spam about their company!
  • Don’t pay for anything. You shouldn’t need to buy equipments in order to do your job.
  • Hang on to your personal information: don’t provide bank account number, SIN number etc. until you are sure the company is legit, and that the company really need this information.

Not all work at home job offers are scams but a lot of them are not profitable anyway. For example, a lot of data entry jobs are a sale pitch for an information kit that you must buy to get you started. Same for processing claims job: you will often be asked to first buy the software and pay for your training.You can read more work at home scams on the Scam.com forum.

The “pyramidal schemes”

Try putting your resume on Monster, like I did recently, and you will soon start receiving a lot of emails about “sales opportunities”. Some are legitimate MLM companies, while most of them promote a pyramidal scheme, which is illegal in many countries, including the U.S.A and Canada.

Pyramidal scheme is a non-sustainable business model. Basically, it involves subscribing to a plan/ buying a product and getting a commission every time you recruit a new person, who is also going to buy the product and recruit other people. Pyramidal schemes are a scam because only the people who started the scheme, who are at the top of the pyramid, will actually make money. People at the bottom of the pyramid will not get any money.

The difference between multi-level marketing and pyramidal scheme is that in the latest, you do not receive or sell any product or service. Yet, companies which use multi-level marketing scheme are often criticized and even sometimes condemned for being more on the pyramidal level scheme side.

If you are ever approached by such a company, make sure you do the maths and check out their reputations online.This is a good forum discussing all the scams in this category. Don’t forget that a lot of these companies are very pushy and will do anything to defend their reputation: don’t be fooled by fake testimonies!

“Help wanted: experience not required” scams

These scams are pretty rare since most of the “help wanted” ads are usually legit, but it is worth mentioning.

Some unscrupulous employers will scam newcomers this way. For example, if you do not have experience, they employers will ask you do work for free during your training, which can last for days… or weeks. And of course, at the end of your non-paid training, the employers will say you do not fit the positions.

Or some employers make you pay for your training. Eventually, you will either be fired at the end of your training, or be told that you are not good enough and have to pay for more training.

Remember these few rules:

  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. A lot of scammers are successful because people are greedy and want to make money fast. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
  • Legitimate employers would never ask you to pay for your training or equipment to get you started.
  • Be careful of “blind ads” where you can not find any contact information. If you are doing something legal, usually, you have no problem with people knowing who you are… right?
  • Don’t provide too much personal information: you should keep your SIN number safe, as well as your bank account number, credit rating etc. Especially if you are not hired yet!
  • In doubt, google. Or contact the Better Business Bureau for background info.

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