Police are asking members of the public to be aware of an internet-based employment scam that offers employment through Scandinavian companies.
Fraudsters contact victims by email pretending to be from a company that is looking for representatives in ‘your’ area to carry out online work. The job offer promises monthly wages and an attractive commission.
How does the Scandinavian employment scam work?
The victim is asked to complete an employment agreement, which includes personal details, and to forward a scanned image of the form along with a copy of a driving licence or passport by email or fax.
The victim is advised that the company is looking for someone to process payments for them by receiving money into their own bank accounts. Victims are told that a portion of that money can be kept for commission, while the remainder should be sent to their ‘customers’ abroad, through a money transfer agent.
In fact, victims receive forged cheques from the fraudsters. They are asked to pay the money into their bank accounts and then draw the funds immediately. When the bank later discovers the forgery, the account holder is liable for the debt of the funds they withdrew, by which time they have already sent the money to the fraudsters.
West Mercia Police’s Economic Crime Unit is offering some advice to help people keep safe from these types of scams:
- be suspicious of unsolicited job offers
- fraudsters sometimes use the name of a legitimate company to commit this kind of fraud
- search the company name on the internet. If you recognise it as a legitimate company’s name, get in touch with them via a listed phone number to confirm that the person contacting you is one of their representatives.
Read more about the Scandinavian employment scam on the West Mercia Police website.
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To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.