A charity organization, Crimestoppers have warned victims of online job scams lose an average of £4,000.
“Some victims have even turned up to workplaces expecting to start their new job – only to find out that the employer has never heard of them,” the charity warns.
The most likely victims are younger job hunters – because they’re more likely to search online – and the long-term unemployed who want a job so badly that fraudsters find them an easy target.
An out-of-work oil industry logistics expert Alan Winks was overjoyed that his years of experience in the North Sea had paid off when he was offered a job with Shell in Nigeria on more than £10,000 a month.
“Congratulations, you have been found suitable for the position,” emailed the supposed head of human resources, Charles Gbandi
Mr Gbandi also wrote to Alan on Shell letterhead and had a LinkedIn page apparently confirming his position at the company.
But it was a sham designed to get Alan to pay for fictional costs such as immigration and insurance expenses.
“The letters are quite convincing,” said Alan. “But fortunately I have a contact in Nigeria who warned me that the email address and phone number were fake, as was the official-looking stamp at the bottom of the letter.“When I got this job offer I was so glad. I thought it was genuine and that we would have a Christmas this year after all.”
Alan’s near-miss is not an isolated incident. Shell says it is “inundated” with queries about bogus job offers.
The company warns on its website:
“It has come to our attention that scam artists are impersonating senior Shell officials using fake Facebook , Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
“Members of the public are hereby strongly advised to note that any communication or correspondence via social media offering business contracts, scholarships, interviews or immediate employment, requesting payment at any point, is fraudulent and does not originate from Shell.
“Anyone who receives these false solicitations is strongly advised to either disregard them in their own best interest or report them to the nearest law enforcement agency.”
Culled from UK Mirror