Sudbury police warn of new scam targeting out-of-work miners
Red Maple Mining hoax has been popping up in a classified ad on the website Kijiji, police say
A new internet scam in Sudbury is preying on people in the mining industry who are looking for work.
At first glance, the website for Red Maple Mining seems real.
It features photos, a company biography, and a list of job descriptions the company is supposedly hiring for in Sudbury. Positions include underground labourers, mining engineers, field technicians, and supervisors.
If you dig a bit deeper there's really nothing attached to it other than they want your personal information.- Wade Maksymchuk , Greater Sudbury Police Service
But Sudbury police said the website — and the company — are a scam.
"At first glance it would seem somewhat legitimate," said police officer Wade Maksymchuk, who heads up the force's alternative response unit.
"If you dig a bit deeper, there's really nothing attached to it other than they want your personal information."
The website, which has since been taken down, has an online form asking applicants to include their driver's licence number, social security number, credit card info and more in order to apply for one of the jobs. The website said the company needs to charge $9.95 to run a background check.
These are all things a real company would not ask for, Maksymchuk said.
"Any legitimate business would not be doing their business this way. They would be sending out information, [human resources] would be contacting you. It wouldn't just be a generic site, 'We're looking for people.'"
There are other clues that the company is fake. The only contact is an email address that will bounce back if you try send an email to it.
There are also obvious spelling and grammar errors throughout the website, including a misspelling of "British Columbia" in the "About Us" section.
"In Sudbury, Canada, Red Maple Co's open-pit operation is producing copper and platinum group metals. We also have active partner-funded exploration underway for nickel, copper and PGMs," the website reads.
"Outside Of Sudbury, Maple Mining Co has active exploration for copper and gold in British Colombia [sic] do [sic] to it's current partnerships."
'Preying' on the vulnerable
Maksymchuk said he's never encountered a fake mining company scam before.
He said scammers will go through elaborate efforts, including creating entire websites, to trick people
"It does seem they're beginning to go the extra mile," he said, saying it makes sense a scam like this would pop up now.
"They're preying on the vulnerability of people with the recent costs of nickel going down, people are looking for employment. This looks like a quick fix. A quick opportunity."
Scams are "typically up quick and down just as quick," Maksymchuk said.
Maksymchuk said police believe they detected the scam before anyone was conned, but are asking anyone who might have given their info or know anything about the scam to contact them.
From the 'About Us' section of the scam website Red Maple Mining
[spelling errors left in]
Red Maple Mining Co. Is striving to become mid-tier mining company with stable and sustainable revenue attained through acquisition, discovery, development, and production of various metals. We will achieve this by improving on our current assets and the strengths and capabilities we have demonstrated by out recent successes in developing and and operating our newest open pit, as well as our ongoing partner-funded exploration ventures. In Sudbury, Canada, Red Maple Co's open-pit operation is producing copper and platinum group metals. We also have active partner-funded exploration underway for nickel, copper and PGMs. Outside Of Sudbury, Maple Mining Co has active exploration for copper and gold in British Colombia do to it's current partnerships. Red Maple Mining Co's growth strategy is to focus on value-accretive, near-term production opportunities while also maintaining active exploration for large-scale discovery. Red Maple Mining Co's sustainability strategy drives a high standard or performance with respect to safety, health, the environment, and the community. This corporate social responsibility focus provides support for our ongoing activities and is important for attracting high-quality people, high-quality opportunities, and partner funding. We have a string relationship with local aboriginal communities.