What is Online Employment Fraud?

Fraudsters post job advertisements on various social media platforms, forums or instant messengers, using various pretexts to lure job seekers into paying fees, guarantee fees or other fees.  After snatching the money, fraudsters will be out of contact. 

 The characteristics of job advertisements posted by fraudsters are as follows:

Offer high salary, same-day pay or work from home arrangement

Low academic qualifications or age requirements

Work experience and CV are not required

Do not mention the name or address of the company, provide only the contact information of instant messenger or mobile phone number

Emphasise no illegal or obscene activities will be involved so that job seekers will let their guard down

Do not mention the specific post and duties

Popular "Boosting Sales" Scam

Recruiting "Order Handler"

Scammers send out fake job offers massively through SMS or instant messengers. Positions of “Order Handler”, “Merchandising Assistant”, “Order Placer”, etc., were advertised with vague requirements but great pay promised.

Impersonating retailers

Scammers publish online posts impersonating online retailers (such as HKTVmall, Aeon, YATA, Taobao, YOHO, Parknshop, Fortress, Amazon, eBay, Lazada, etc.) or make fake online promotions for Cloudpay, Creative eWorld, Shopify, Digital Squad, Swell Training, Smark Global, Ematic Solutions, Alation, MWI, Clicks Marketing Solution, Kintone, Papa Shop, AsiaPac, HK Boutir, Informatica, HK Clicks, Expertime, QVC Online, Bridgewell, Blueshift, EESE, TEAUP, Target, higoo, pinchuan, Suoxindahk, Jugoushop, SHOPLINE, Visual Data, Groove Technology, MONI etc., as well as creating fake websites or applications.

Boosting Sales

The employees are instructed to purchase products from specific online merchants to boost sales. By adding items to the shopping cart together with screen captures as proof, and transferring the deposit to a designated bank account, a commission can then be earned. During the first few attempts, the employees may get a full refund together with commissions. Yet, upon purchasing more expensive products, the scammers will make up reasons and refuse to refund, and lure the victims to go for a larger purchase to get the full amount back. As such, the employees may eventually incur losses.

Other Scam

Lending an account

Ask employees to lend their accounts to channel funds on behalf of customers to earn commissions, but they have to first apply for a loan from a finance company in their sole name, or buy gold jewellery with credit card cash advances and hand over the property as collateral.  Some fraudsters even use various pretexts to ask the employees to surrender their ATM cards and PIN codes, and snatch their money from their accounts

Overseas purchasing agent

Hire people to travel abroad and purchase luxury products such as luxury handbags and employees have to pay for their own tickets and accommodation fees in advance

Advance payment for purchasing goods

Hire people to purchase goods such as smart phones, and ask them to pay in advance or to purchase cheap raw materials at a high price

Giving “likes”

Fraudsters offer commissions to employees for selling “likes”.  They even introduce monthly package.  The more expensive the monthly package, the more commissions the employees can earn for each “like”

Scam Prevention Tips

Find jobs through reliable channels

Understand the background and business nature of the company

Pay attention to job advertisements which offer high salary but do not have any requirements regarding academic qualifications or work experience

Do not give personal information to others indiscriminately

Pay extra attention if you are asked to pay administration fees or apply for loans

If in doubt, call the Anti-Scam Helpline 18222 immediately

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