Every single day you hear more and more about online scams. You think “It will never happen to us, we are diligent” and “we never send money out to anyone we don’t know.”
Well today I will share what happened to us.
My partner Darren has been unemployed for several months due to his previous employer closing down a factory and giving everyone redundancies. Every single day he has been applying for jobs through various online agencies and never hearing anything in return. It is a hard, demoralising process where the human interaction has been replaced with automated replies (if any) and long waits for any news of an interview.
Then last week Darren had an email from a “Recruitment Agency” inviting him to an interview for a Warehouse Order Picker/Packer with a large, well known company. The email requested him to specify which location would be preferable to him. As he had applied for so many positions, he thought finally something had come through. Darren replied immediately to the affirmative.
Later that day another email arrived stating his application had been selected for the next stage of the recruitment process. This time he had to answer 5 questions about work style and ethics. He was so excited about the prospect of working again after so long that he asked me to help him put into words what he wanted them to know about himself.
Three days later Darren had an email telling him that he had been shortlisted and as per their requirements he needed to complete a police check. This is normal and requested quite often for a variety of jobs. However, it also requested $50 for the check. I admit, this is when my intuition should have kicked in as it stated the check had to be completed by the Criminal Records Bureau. Nevertheless, we sent the payment that same day. The following day they confirmed the payment had been received.
The next day the Job Offer was emailed to Darren with terms of employment and stating the area manager would contact him for further details shortly.
Another three days later a confirmation of employment was received by email, giving Darren an ID number and to inform him that training couldn’t commence without their uniforms and ID card. This time he was to send $250 for a variety of work items, which were listed within the email. The uniform requirements were very unusual for this type of work.
This is when I started to question the validity of the “Job offer”.
I looked online at the “Recruitment Agency” and their website looked legitimate, I tried to phone the contact number but got a standard “all our operators are busy right now…” message.
I then went to https://www.scamwatch.gov.au an Australian government website, where it was confirmed this was a scam.
It is hard enough to find a good, reliable job without being ripped off by the low-life’s who prey on vulnerable people. I hope this will save one person from the disappointment and potentially from loss of their hard-earned money and that everyone will be more cautious than us.