Stop and check any job that requires you to pay money to make money. It could be a scam.

Scammers offer jobs that pay well with low effort. But it’s only the scammer that will make money in the end. Often the job doesn’t exist at all.

Scammers pretend to be hiring on behalf of high-profile companies and online shopping platforms. They also impersonate well-known recruitment agencies. Their goal is to steal your money and identity details.

They often ask for payment so you can start the role and get the income they’ve promised.

Don’t enter any arrangement that asks for up-front payment via bank transfer, PayID or cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or USDT. It’s rare to get money back that is sent this way.

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Warning signs it might be a scam

  • A recruiter contacts you unexpectedly through text message or encrypted message platforms like WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram.
  • You are told you can earn a high income while working from home and with little effort.
  • The hiring process is quick. There’s no interview or discussion about your qualifications, experience, and references.
  • You are told to top up an account with your own money or cryptocurrency to complete tasks.
  • The job involves transferring money, making purchases, or receiving packages on behalf of someone else.
  • You are required to pay a 'recruitment fee’ or pay for training materials before you begin the job and make any money.

Steps you can take to protect yourself

  • Don’t trust a job ad is real just because it appears on a trusted platform or website – scammers post fake ads too. If you come across a scammer, report it to the platform or agency.
  • Never send money or give your personal information, credit card, online bank or cryptocurrency account details to anyone you have only met online, through email or over the phone.
  • Scammers may deceive you by giving you a small payment for completing a job or task. Never send your own money, you won’t get it back.
  • Know who you are dealing with. Contact recruitment agency representatives using phone numbers you have sourced yourself online.

More safeguards

  • Don’t be pressured to act quickly. A legitimate offer won’t require you to make a fast decision. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t take payment or rewards to recruit other people.
  • Be careful about including personal information such as your physical address or date of birth in your resume.
  • Never send your passport or identity documents to an employer or recruitment firm, unless you are certain they are genuine.

Common job scams

Pyramid schemes are illegal and very risky ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes that can end up costing you a lot of money.

You may hear about a pyramid scheme from friends, family or neighbours. Usually, pyramid schemes recruit members at seminars, home meetings, over the phone, by email, post or social media.

In a typical pyramid scheme, you pay big upfront dollars to join. The scheme then relies on you convincing other people to join and to part with their money as well.

For everyone in the scheme to make a profit, there needs to be an endless supply of new members. In reality, the number of people willing to join the scheme, and the amount of money coming into the scheme, dries up very quickly.

Some pyramid scheme promoters disguise their true purpose by introducing products that are overpriced, of poor quality, difficult to sell or of low value. Making money out of recruitment is still their main aim.

The promoters at the top of the pyramid make their money by having people join the scheme. They pocket the fees and other payments made by those who join under them. When the scheme collapses, relationships, friendships and even marriages can be damaged over money lost in the scam.

It’s against the law to promote or take part in, a pyramid scheme.

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