Latest Trend of Employment Fraud
In recent years, some fraudsters, under the pretext of recruitment, lured and deceived young job seekers including university students on summer vacation after examination as well as the unemployed youths. Fraudsters would make use of social media network to post recruitment advertisements with wording such as “flexible working hours”, “handsome pay posts” and “quick cash opportunities” for soliciting, causing young people eager to seek jobs to fall into the traps, thereby deceived their money.
Among the tactics used by fraudsters, the most common one is, victims are attracted by recruitment advertisements or introduced by friends to attend job interviews. During the interviews, fraudsters will ask the victims to pay administration fees or deposits to secure the job offers, with an amount ranging from several thousand to several tens of thousand dollars. After the payments, the fraudsters will then find an opportunity to leave. Only until the victims cannot contact the fraudsters do they realise that they have been deceived of money and property, and that the relevant jobs do not exist at all.
Other Common Modus Operandi
Fraudsters post recruitment advertisements through social media, offering “quick cash” opportunities to lure victims to provide personal information. Then, without the victims’ knowledge, the fraudsters make loan applications from finance companies in the name of the victims. The fraudsters might directly ask the victims to take out loans from finance companies, deceiving the victims that taking out loans for the companies are part of the jobs, and that they will not be subject to any debts and risks. The victims usually accede to the fraudsters’ requests without any suspicion. After receiving the loans, the fraudsters will then flee, and the victims, while without getting the jobs offered, have to bear the responsibility for the outstanding loans. If the victims become insolvent, they may be subject to bankruptcy proceedings which result in undesirable personal credit record, and may have adverse effect on their opportunities of applying for certain professional positions in future.
Another modus operandi used by fraudsters is to instigate victims to take out loans from finance companies using false proofs of income, and the victims may breach the laws at any time due to such acts and have to bear criminal liabilities. In addition, the fraudsters will ask the victims to provide personal data in job application forms, so as to make unauthorised use of their personal data to apply for loans from finance companies. When the victims receive dunning letters from the finance companies a few months later, then they realise that they have been deceived.
On the other hand, some fraudsters recruit job seekers for full-time or part-time jobs, such as Internet shill and typist, through the Internet or social media. The job seekers will be required to pay deposits or handling fees in advance. After the payments, the fraudsters will lose contact without giving the victims any jobs.
- In case someone asks you to pay administration fee, deposit or apply for loans in the job interview, you should pay extra attention. Do not disclose your personal information and hand over personal property to the fraudsters;
- Understand the company’s background, business nature and scale etc before attending the job interview. You can check if the company is registered in Hong Kong and if the company address or company name matches with the place of interview to avoid falling prey to a scam;
- If you just contact the company you seek employment with or its staff through the Internet or social media, you must pay special attention to and understand the company’s background, and conduct company search beforehand to avoid falling prey to a scam;
- Before filling in any forms or applications, understand clearly the use of the forms and read carefully the job requirements or terms and conditions of the contract. Also, make sure if the documents are issued by the company. Do not provide information or sign any documents if in doubt;
- Be cautious when someone promise to give you a job with lucrative offers;
- Be alert when dissuaded from asking your family or friends for advice;
- Keep your own property within your sight during the job interview.