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Flexible work scam targeting jobseekers in Australia

Cristina POPOV

September 28, 2023

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Flexible work scam targeting jobseekers in Australia

WA ScamNet warns about a new employment scam trying to trick people looking for flexible work conditions, such as working from home. The fake offer includes easy employment online, no experience needed, and the added benefit of working from home. To secure this “opportunity,” one is asked to perform various tasks online (write a review, shop) and invest in cryptocurrency.

In just three months, WA ScamNet received 20 reports of this type of employment scam with financial losses totaling around $510,000. The largest individual loss reported to WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection was $194,151, with the lowest being $350.

How the scam works:

  • Victims are approached on social media or platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram with the promise of a job and asked to do a few simple online tasks for commission.
  • They are then added to a chat group with scammers posing as other excited employees, encouraging the newcomers to invest a substantial amount of money in cryptocurrency with the promise of high returns and job security.
  • During this process, victims are often asked to provide forms of identification and invest a fee to set up their account, before realizing there won’t be any payment or promised return.
  • The scammers then begin a harassment campaign for further payments.

How to avoid this trap and protect your digital identity

Be suspicious of any stranger who offers you a job out of the blue on social media or email, and never pay or invest to secure employment. Another red flag is when those approaching you know too much about you. It means your data is to be found somewhere on the internet where it shouldn’t be, and they are using it to target you.

Use Bitdefender Digital Identity Protection to check if that’s the case. You can also see your digital footprint at a glance, check your breach history, map risk, and follow personalized recommendations to stay a step ahead and protect your personal info.

If you fall victim to an employment scam, report it to your financial institution, Australian Cyber Security Centre and IDCARE.

Read more about our identity protection and privacy solutions here.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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