Beware phony websites preying on desperate job-seekers
Fraudulent websites posing as legitimate Alberta employers are appearing on the Internet offering positions in Alberta’s oil patch – jobs that do not exist.
A downturn in oil prices means greater competition for work in Alberta and scammers are targeting job-seekers in Canada and beyond.
For example, a website for a fictitious business called Daglo Oil & Gas Co. – dagloagency.com – has been posing as an Alberta employer offering attractive employment opportunities in return for a fee paid in advance. The fee demand is usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses or other pre-screening.
After the money is paid, the job-seeker finds out there is no real company and no real job. In fact, there is little more than a flashy website, much of which has been copied from a legitimate Alberta oil and gas firm.
Before sending any money for any service, consumers are advised to make contact with the employer and discuss the details of the offer and the recruitment process. In this case, the Daglo phone numbers go straight to voice-mail.
Watch for these warning signs:
- An implied sense of urgency to complete the transaction. Take the time you need to consider any offer of employment.
- Cash, credit card details or other personal information is required before anything will be delivered. You could become the victim of an identity thief.
- Job offers without interviews. Reputable companies won’t likely offer employment without first interviewing candidates. Never accept a job offer via e-mail if you have never had a telephone or face-to-face interview.
- Employment agencies recruiting for positions in Alberta must be licensed, regardless of where they are located or where they are recruiting from and are prohibited from charging recruitment fees.
- Referrals to “government” e-mail addresses that end with @immgov.com or other non-government extensions.
Service Alberta has information and links to assist consumers on identifying and avoiding fraud (http://www.servicealberta.ca/560.cfm) and has a tipsheet with helpful information on how to avoid being victimized by an unscrupulous employment agency.
If you believe an employment website is a scam, contact your local police service or Service Alberta toll-free at 1-877-427-4088.