Online safety / June 10, 2024

Crypto job fraud

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Person typing on laptop

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is seeing an increase in job opportunity frauds. Overall reported losses to job fraud increased from 7 million in 2022 to 30 million in 2023. With close to 12 million lost in the first 3 months of 2024, the trend continues. According to victim reports, fraudsters are contacting victims via text message, WhatsApp, email or Messenger after the victim has shared their resume and contact information on job recruitment websites.

Using the names of real companies in Canada, the fraudsters are offering victims freelance job opportunities to “boost” products, apps or videos using software created by the fraudsters. After the victim installs the software and creates an account, they receive “orders” or “tasks” they have to complete. Victims might receive a small payment or commission in order to convince them that the job is legitimate. Victims can earn higher commissions or “move up a level” by boosting more products or videos but need to pay fees to gain access to the additional work.

Victims deposit their funds into crypto accounts or wallets. Victims may also be asked to recruit other victims in order to increase their earnings. Similar to crypto investment scams, victims will see funds in their crypto account, but will not have the ability to withdraw the funds they have deposited and earned.

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Be wary when a “company” uses a web-based email address instead of one from their personalized domain
  • Be wary of unsolicited job offers after posting your resume online, it could be a fraud
  • Perpetrators are using technology to their advantage to send unsolicited job offers to job seekers after they post their resume online. These generic communications are often carried out with AI technology.
  • Fraudsters will oftentimes slightly alter the domain of a legitimate company in order to convince victims that they are communicating with a legitimate company
  • If you are asked to “boost” apps, videos or merchandise, you will more than likely be providing fake reviews to fraudulent products
  • Be careful when sending cryptocurrency. Once the transaction is completed, it is unlikely to be reversed.
  • If you are asked to recruit, remember that pyramid selling is illegal in Canada. It’s a criminal offence to establish, operate, advertise or promote a scheme of pyramid selling.
  • If you are asked to receive funds into your personal bank account and to forward the money elsewhere, DON’T! There is a good chance you are being used as a money mule and contributing to money laundering.
  • If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, you should still report the incident to the CAFC.

Frauds & scams
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