Employment scarcity leads to scammers targeting jobseekers
That was the message from a dismayed Cooroy resident who applied for a job advertised on online community posting site Gumtree this week, providing her complete contact details, only to find the advertiser was not who they said they were.
The woman described the ensuing call from a man - who went on to make lewd requests and, when she declined, said she could expect a visit - as "a nightmare".
After she notified police and posted her story as a warning, other jobseekers related similar tales and Sunshine Coast district crime prevention co-ordinator Mark Readman revealed that being the victim of such a scam was not uncommon.
"On average, we deal with about 30 a year on the Sunshine Coast," he said.
"We talk about identity theft and in a lot of ways this is quite similar, as in people are providing their identity to people who are not who they say they are. You've got to protect your identity like the money in your wallet."
He said people with devious intentions were able to collect personal information online if targets were not savvy enough about security.
"Be mindful of utilising sites that have limited security and can potentially put personal safety in jeopardy," he said. "Make independent checks regarding applications and consult reputable job agencies.
"Once your put your details out there, there's the potential for scammers and people who are not who they purport to be to use that to menace or harass."
Mr Readman encouraged those who had been a target of such an incident to report it to police, as penalties applied.
"(In such a case) there is an offence that has been committed - using a carriage service (such as telephone or internet) to menace, harass or cause offence, which carries a maximum penalty of three years," he said.
The Cooroy woman's post had almost 200 comments, many expressing their shock and sympathy, was shared almost 1500 times and garnered more than 1300 likes.
What others had to say:
It happens a lot in the modelling industry hopefully someone knows some more about this guy.
Thanks for the heads up I shall share this
All Job seekers out there- don't put your full address on any resume, just your street/ suburb, leave off photos I never have. Any company that has a problem with this or wants the information before you are hired is to be avoided. Also make sure you know what will be found when you Google your name - including making sure your social media settings are private. There are unfortunately some terrible people in this world.
This actually happened to me years ago in Sydney when applying for a job, very scary!!
That's a disgusting experience for you to go through. Glad you reported it!
Thank you for posting this experience.