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Watch for scams as Alberta’s unemployment rate rises

As more and more people are left looking for a job in Alberta, the number of job scams being reported is on the rise. Ron Mycholuk says the Better Business Bureau of Northern and Central Alberta got a complaint yesterday about a Grande Prairie company that offered someone a high-paying job but has an out-of-service number and isn’t located in 214 Place like is listed on their website.

“They use things that people will at first glance look at and not really think about whether it’s legitimate or not; whereas if you use an address that people know is incorrect, then they’re going to be even more suspicious, so they try to play on the fact that they use a recognizable location.”

In TipTop Energy’s case, they’re also not legally registered in Alberta. Mycholuk says the BBB is seeing a spike in these types of scams as more people are looking for jobs.

“People are so concerned right now with finding employment that they’re looking for those opportunities and maybe not doing the due diligence that they would have before because they need money quickly, they need a lot of money to pay bills, and they’re not thinking as critically as they were; they’re not looking up the company online, they’re not doing the research.”

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People should be wary of ads that sound too good to be true, as in the end, scammers are just looking to steal your money and identity.

“You fill out a bunch of documents with all your personal information, right? That’s what they want. They want to get as much information about you as possible so they can sign you up for credit cards, spend your money, and do as much damage as possible to your credit because it’s not hurting theirs.”

BBB has launched a new scam tracker where users can search for reported scams in their area. An advance fee loan scam that bilked someone out of $12,000 was reported in Grande Prairie last month, while an investment scam allegedly cost a Dawson Creek resident $80,000.

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