An Ontario woman, referred to as Imran, is dealing with the devastating aftermath of falling victim to an employment scam. Imran was searching for a part-time job when she came across a social media post offering the opportunity to make up to $400 an hour by working with software and optimizing apps. However, in order to prove that she was a real person and not a bot, Imran was asked to deposit some of her own money into the company’s platform.
Initially, Imran paid $700 and saw her account balance grow to approximately $1,700. She was able to withdraw some of the money, leading her to believe that the company was legitimate. However, as time went on, Imran encountered difficulties withdrawing her funds from the platform, and she discovered that withdrawals were being delayed.
In the span of a few months, Imran was repeatedly asked to deposit more money, leading her to ultimately contribute $395,000 of her own money. She believed her account balance had grown to over $600,000. Unfortunately, she was unable to withdraw any of the money, resulting in the loss of the entire $395,000. In order to participate in the scam, Imran even borrowed $250,000 from family and friends.
Imran’s story is not unique. Another individual, a Toronto student named Danillo Pekoh, also fell victim to a similar job scam. Pekoh deposited small amounts of money, which he was initially able to withdraw. However, once he deposited $1,700, his account was frozen, and he could no longer access his funds. This money was intended to pay for his tuition.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reports that in 2022, 1,230 victims lost $4,948,849 to job scams. In the first few months of 2023 alone, 592 victims have lost $2,712,390 to employment scams. The CAFC cautions individuals to be wary of job scams and highlights several warning signs to look out for. These include being offered a position without an interview, being asked for personal information and banking details upfront, advertising a basic job with high pay, requesting money in advance, and communicating solely through chat apps without any phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
Imran now faces the challenge of rebuilding her life and paying off her debts after losing $395,000 to the scam. She emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about these scams and preventing others from going through the same devastating experience.
Source: CTV News Toronto