What to do when you get an unlikely offer by email
A couple of weeks back Jo* contacted us about an odd job offer she had received. Molly Harris, manager of ‘First Choice Travel’ had ‘reviewed [Jo’s] resume on the site Care Careers and decided to make you an offer’ – of a Travel Assistant position.
It was odd because the job offer came out of the blue, odd that it was a role in the unrelated travel industry and, oddest of all, Jo does not even have her résumé on carecareers.
Jo was immediately suspicious and she had good cause to be. Molly (who also uses aliases – Alyssa Lovely, Mark Ella and more) is not a real person. First Choice Travel is a real company, but this has nothing to do with them – their identity has been stolen. The ‘job offer’ is actually an elaborate cover for an invitation to participate in money laundering. Accept the ‘job offer’ and you could find yourself talking to the police.
The good people at Scamwatch, the Australian Government’s fraud-busting service, tell us that these kinds of scams are surprisingly common. Many websites are reluctant to talk about them for fear of losing business, but the reality these days is that almost nobody can give you a 100% guarantee that they can completely shield you from this sort of trickery.
That does not mean you should never go online again; you can keep yourself safe by exercising some basic common sense. Never offer more personal details than you need to, and be especially wary about sharing your bank account details, tax file number, passport, driving licence or other ID details. Don’t respond to, or click on links in suspicious emails.
If a job offer looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is not true. Tell-tale signs of a bogus offer include bad spelling, bad grammar, an email sent in the middle of the night from a person and/or email address that you have never heard of.
You should always exercise basic precautions, and trust your judgement rather than a stranger’s propositions. If in doubt check out the latest scams on the Scamwatch site or ask them for advice. Stay alert and you will keep yourself safe.
And most importantly don’t let this kind of stuff colour your impressions of the overwhelming majority of legitimate organisations who use the web thoughtfully, legally and ethically. They and you deserve better.
Lastly, Molly, if you are reading this, you really should be ashamed of yourself.
Had a bogus offer yourself? Tell us about your experience…
*Not her real name