The Integrated Financial Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division is issuing a warning about a fraud targeting university students.
Since September 25, investigators have received numerous complaints in relation to fraudulent circumstances after students have accessed a job portal through their university. They’re advised that they’re the successful applicant in a recent job competition for which they have applied. The prospective employer then provides the student with a cheque which they are asked to deposit in their personal bank account. They are instructed to use the money to do some shopping and run errands on behalf of the company and then wire the majority of the funds from the cheque back to the employer or an associate of the employer. The cheque that was given to the student is returned to the student’s bank several weeks later indicating it was counterfeit. In some cases, the students have spent upwards of $8,000 before they are informed of the fraud. It’s worth noting that the onus falls on the student to pay the money back to their bank.
Police encourage people to verify the identity of individuals and the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent before entering into a business transaction with someone you don’t know. Also, you should never use your own bank account to conduct business for an employer.
Investigators in the HRP/RCMP Integrated Financial Crime Section have contacted security offices at post-secondary educational institutions across Nova Scotia to advise them of this scam. Anyone who has been the victim of such a scam is asked to report it to investigators by calling 902-490-1985.
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