A Vancouver woman who fell for a job recruitment scam on the Internet is warning others to be careful after she was defrauded more than $500.

Suim Choi, 26, responded to a job posting for an assistant beverage manager position for the Hilton hotel chain in the U.K.

She completed a written interview, was told she was hired, and signed an employment contract. She was then instructed to send money to pay for a police record check in the U.K.

After sending a $200 money order, she was told something went wrong and was asked to send credit card information instead. Choi says she was charged about $350 on the card.

"English is not my first language so I didn't know [what] is wrong in the contract, so I signed," said Choi, who arrived in B.C. just two months ago from South Korea.

"They stole my money but also they stolen my future, and time and dream."

Hilton Worldwide is aware of the scam and has published a warning on its website.

Choi has filed complaints with both the FBI and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, which has received one other complaint about this specific scam and hundreds of others involving fake job recruitment in general.

"This type of fraud is being done on an industrial scale, the scammers are prepared to deal with thousands of people worldwide every week," said Daniel Williams, spokesman for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokeswoman for Consumer Protection B.C., says people should do their research and ask some key questions before submitting any personal information to job recruiters.

"Does the job ad seem to be offering you a lot of more money than you think it should be paid for? It comes down to the whole idea of if it's too good to be true, it probably is," she said.

How to identify recruitment fraud

  • The perpetrators often ask recipients to complete bogus recruitment documentation, such as application forms, terms and conditions of employment or visa forms.
  • There is an early request for personal information such as address details, date of birth, CV, passport details, bank details etc.
  • Candidates are requested to contact other companies/individuals such as lawyers, bank officials, travel agencies, courier companies, visa/immigration processing agencies etc.
  • E-mail correspondence is often sent from (or to) free web-based e-mail accounts such as Yahoo.com, Yahoo.co.uk, Gmail.com, Googlemail.com, Live.com etc.
  • The perpetrators may even offer to pay a percentage of the fees requested and ask the candidate to pay the remaining amount.
  • There is an insistence on urgency for the applicant to act on the correspondence received.

Source: Hilton Recruitment Fraud Notice