Online crooks use fake website to scam jobless miners as industry downturn swells the ranks of the recently unemployed.
The Ministry of Consumer Protection claims that a fake website, miningjobswa.org, offers attractive job postings, but can then use apps to steal people’s money and identity.
The ministry said at least one job seeker lost money after paying fees related to their application.
“They may also be asked to disclose their personal information and send a copy of their passport for identification purposes.
“This opens up the possibility of identity theft in the future.”
The department said the Subiaco address used by the crooks is actually a local park.
The name of the website is also very similar to that of a legitimate online jobs website, miningjobswa.net.au, and uses an ABN stolen from a legitimate company of the same name.
Scammers can be based anywhere
Lanie Chopping of Consumer Protection said the department is trying to determine where the website is running from.
“We are much more successful when the website has a ‘.au’ domain name, in this case it’s a ‘.org’, which means it can be hosted in any number of. places, ”he said.
“We often see these types of scams when there is a change of season or a change in the market.
“We have had at least one person who has lost a few hundred dollars on this, but we suspect there are others who have actually lost money and we encourage people to contact us.”
She said those who had become unemployed as a result of the mining downturn were particularly vulnerable and that crooks were taking advantage “in a ruthless and opportunistic manner.”
The mining industry has slowed down with falling commodity prices and further job losses are expected as investment declines.
The ministry also warned job seekers from other industries that there had been an increase in reported fraudulent job postings, many of which were posted on legitimate sites such as Gumtree and Seek.
The agency advised job seekers to be careful when filling out job applications and to verify that the business does exist.
He said that in Western Australia recruiting agents were not allowed to charge job seekers for their services.
“This is not standard industry practice and probably a scam.”