Jobs & Employment Scams

How Scams Work

A SCARS Series

Finding Employment Is Not Always Safe

Jobs and employment scams trick you into handing over your money by offering you a ‘guaranteed’ way to make fast money or a high-paying job for little effort.

How Does This Scam Work?

  1. The scammer contacts you by email, letter, or phone and offers you a job that requires very little effort for high returns, or a guaranteed way to make money quickly.  You may even come across false job opportunities on classified ad websites.
  2. The job on offer may require you to do something simple such as stuffing envelopes or assembling a product using materials that you have to buy from the ‘employer’.  To accept the job you will be asked to pay for a starter kit or materials relevant to the job or scheme.
  3. If you pay the fee you may not receive anything or what you do receive is not what you expected or were promised. For example, instead of a ‘business plan’, you may be sent instructions for how to get other people to join the same scheme.
  4. On completion of your work, the scammer will refuse to pay you for some or all of your work, using excuses such as the work not being up to the required standard.

Another type of job opportunity scam asks you to use your bank account to receive and pass on payments for a foreign company. The scammers promise you a percentage commission for each payment you pass on. This is likely to be a form of money laundering which is a criminal offense.

If you provide your account details the scammer may use them to steal your money or commit other fraudulent activities.

Warning Signs

  • You come across an advertisement or receive an email, letter or phone call offering you a guaranteed income or job.
  • The message may claim lots of money can be made with little effort using your personal computer, or guarantee large returns.
  • The message is not addressed to you personally.
  • The message asks you to provide personal details or a fee for more information about the job or start-up materials.
  • The message does not have a street address, only a post office box or an email address.
  • You are asked to transfer money on behalf of someone else, which may be money laundering.

Protect Yourself

Be suspicious of unsolicited work-from-home opportunities or job offers, particularly those that offer a ‘guaranteed income’ or require you to pay an upfront fee.

If the job involves making or selling a certain type of product or service, find out if there is really a market for it.

Ask for references from other people who have done the work or used the product, and make the effort to speak to these people.

Do not deal with an employer or company that does not have a street address, they can be difficult to contact or trace later on

Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency. It is rare to recover money sent this way.

Never agree to transfer money for someone else – this is money laundering and it is a criminal offense.

Have You Been Scammed?

If you think you have provided your account details, passport, tax file number, license, Medicare, or other personal identification details to a scammer, contact your bank, financial institution, or other relevant agencies immediately.

We encourage you to report scams involving financial loss or identity theft to your local police but report all scams to your national police and to This helps us and law enforcement to warn people about current scams, monitor trends, and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

Portions provided by ACCC

Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

Go to to learn how

U.S. FTC at and SCARS at
Visit to learn more!



SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

By the SCARS™ Editorial Team
Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

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