In times of war, the best and worst of humanity is revealed. Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to leave the country and look for work elsewhere since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, this is the reason for the spread of employment fraud.
The main goal of criminals is to obtain property and personal information, or to use refugees as free labor. Here are some signs to look out for to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Here are the most common schemes and tips on how to avoid scams when looking for work in Canada.
FRAUD WITH JOB ADS
Employment fraud involves job offers that mislead people who are looking for opportunities to find legitimate work. Fraudsters often publish ads with fictitious job titles. To attract candidates, they promise large salaries, high hourly pay for minimal work, or rapid career growth without a diploma or experience.
In this case, the candidate receives a response to the application as soon as they send their resume online. The interview is suspiciously quick. As a rule, one short call or chat message is enough for a candidate to be hired.
All of these are reasons to be cautious, to assess the situation realistically, and not to rely on easy money.
What are the signs of fraud?
Working conditions are too good to be true (i.e., high salary for doing a minimum of simple work, etc.). At the same time, candidates are not required to provide a document on education or proof of relevant work experience. To successfully navigate the labor market, analyze the average salary level. Real employers offer the average market remuneration (plus or minus 20%), but significant deviations may be a sign of fraud.
Suspicious employer email address with a corporate domain, but with some deviations. A “fake” domain looks like an original domain at first glance because it uses similar characters. For example: “bankjob.com” (lowercase “b”) instead of “Bankjob.com” (uppercase “B”). Another tactic is to use your company name and popular email services. For example, “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Some companies use public domain names such as “Gmail.com”, “Yahoo.com”. But be careful and check the contact information on the company’s official website.
The need to provide confidential personal information (e.g., driver’s license series and number or identification code) when applying. This information is not required at this stage. To protect yourself, do not disclose your bank account or credit card number to potential employers or others, and do not send confidential personal information via chat or email.
The website of the company offering the job has no address or contact information. To create the illusion of the company’s existence, some scammers offer to visit its website. After doing some research, he finds that there is no information about it, except for job ads. The next step is to check the physical address provided. cause for concern. The company is located at the address of a residential building or in a vacant lot.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade for the purpose of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. It is modern slavery. According to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, the full text of which can be found here, it is committed “for the purpose of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or acquisition.” The use of force or any other form of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the threat of abuse of power or of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person to have control over another person.
Women and children who are forced to leave the country for neighboring countries due to Russia’s military aggression are at high risk of human trafficking. At the same time, men who have remained in Ukraine and lost their jobs and income as a result of the war can also become easy prey for traffickers. Criminals have adapted to the changing reality and are ready to take advantage of the vulnerability of those who are forced to look for work abroad.
Common signs of human trafficking:
- transportation, transfer, sale.
- adoption for commercial purposes (adoption);
- use in the pornography business or military conflicts.
- transplantation or forced donation;
- involvement in criminal activity;
- extortion, violence or intimidation;
- forced prostitution;
- slavery and similar situations;
- forced labor;
- involvement in debt bondage.
How to recognize signs of labor exploitation.
In order to recognize the signs of labor exploitation, job seekers need to know their legal rights in Canada.
Understand your rights as a foreign worker
As a temporary foreign worker, you are protected by Canadian labor laws. Your employer:
- must pay you for your work
- must make sure that your workplace is safe
- cannot take away your passport or work permit
Most occupations are subject to provincial and territorial laws. However, federal labor and employment laws may apply if you work for
- a federal government bank
- a company that transports goods between provinces
- a telecommunications company
- most businesses owned and operated by the federal government
If you have a work permit with a specific employer, your employer must sign an employment contract with you. Both you and your employer must sign the contract, which must specify
- details of your work
- the terms and conditions of your employment
- the maximum number of hours you will work per week
- how much you will be paid for your work.
The laws on working hours and overtime (extra time or time worked after the end of the working day) depend on the province or territory in which you work.
Your contract may also contain information about any deductions from your paycheck for programs such as the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance.
Always keep a copy of your agreement for your records. You and your employer must always abide by the terms of the agreement. If you have a disagreement about work details in the future, having a copy can help you.
Contact your local employment center or labor standards office to learn more about employment contracts.
If you lose your job
In most cases, your employer must give you written notice before your last day of work or pay you for that time.
Your employer is not obliged to give you notice when you are dismissed for “good reason”. For example, you may be fired for serious misconduct or unexcused absence from work.
If you signed a contract for a certain period or for a certain job, your employer is not obliged to give you a notice when the contract expires.
Each province and territory also has its own rules for giving notice of termination.
If your employer does not follow the law when dismissing you, you can complain to your local employment or labor standards office. If you are covered by a union contract, you may have to file a formal grievance through the union.
Here are some recommendations that you can follow to avoid fraudulent schemes and modern slavery and get a job legally.
Do your research
Research the company or representative who contacted you before applying for a job. This way, you can verify their existence and avoid being interviewed by fraudsters. You can find the information you need on social media and search engines, and you can use Google Translator for translation. You can also contact local experts who can help you understand whether the message is really suspicious. Find out how here.
Check the security of the website
The official address of a company’s website starts with “https://” instead of “http://”. Only such addresses are secure and can determine who the website is registered to and how long it has been active. Use one of our online tools. To do this, copy the URL of your website and paste it into a special field. pay nothing
Some companies say that applicants must pay a certain amount to get the position they want. According to their representatives, this money is a fee for concluding contracts, producing professional literature, and issuing mythical discount cards. Please do not forget. You should be paid for your work, not you.
Do not share personal information
Be especially careful if you are asked to provide personal information in advance, such as
- bank details;
- authentication code;
- passport details.
Employers usually ask for this information only after they have offered you a job.
Do not give your passport to anyone
No one has the right to ask for your passport, except for representatives of Ukrainian or foreign government agencies. Be careful to show it in your hand or in your travel apps.
Do not respond to suspicious calls and emails
If you receive a call or message from an unknown number, do not respond to it. Do not open emails from unknown or suspicious addresses.
Trust your gut feeling
If you are concerned about something or if your research confirms a suspicious offer, follow your instincts. Actively look for jobs with legitimate companies that are right for you.
These simple safety rules can protect you from becoming a victim of fraud or the threat of modern slavery. Do not ignore them!
And good luck!