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Scam alert: Cannabis giant Aurora warns Canadians to be wary of direct job recruitment messages

Jul 28, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

“Unless I know you personally, I will never message you directly on any social platform,” says CEO Miguel Martin.

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Aurora Cannabis Inc. recently offered warned people applying for jobs at the Edmonton-based cannabis company.

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CEO Miguel Martin acknowledged in early July that he wouldn’t normally post to LinkedIn about bogus ventures, but pointed out he had noticed “fake posts on LinkedIn and Facebook, impersonating me and leveraging my name for recruitment scams” over recent months.

“Let me make it abundantly clear that unless I know you personally, I will never message you directly on any social platform,” Martin said in a LinkedIn post. “Any recruitment practices must always be done through formal company channels — never through direct message,” he added.

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And that means no contacting candidates over social media apps. “We will never ask for confidential information such as banking details or your social insurance number during the interview process, nor will request payment of any kind,” the company reports.

There are usually legitimate jobs at Aurora Cannabis that need filling given its size and operations. Aurora serves both the medical and consumer markets, with the company being “dedicated to helping people improve their lives.”

In fact, the company’s career page lists job openings by expertise heading ranging from administration to client care, information services, operations and science.

CEO Miguel Martin suggests everyone “be extra vigilant and hyper-aware of new-age scams.”
CEO Miguel Martin suggests everyone “be extra vigilant and hyper-aware of new-age scams.”

While questions would clearly vary, of course, job search service Indeed notes on its “Interviews at Aurora Cannabis Inc.” that candidates reported they were asked, among other things: Why do you want to work for Aurora, describe a time where you resolved interpersonal conflict and queries regarding openness to change and being adaptable.

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Martin suggested that everyone should “be extra vigilant and hyper-aware of new-age scams.”

Employment scams are nothing new. Back in 2015, X95Radio reported the manager of a planned southern Illinois medical marijuana dispensary issued a warning to prospective employees to steer clear of an online ad that purported to offer high-paying retail jobs. The ad was listed on Craigslist and noted the salary was US$25 per hour for security guards, receptionists and others.

And two years ago, a poster took to Reddit to ask if a possible position sounded good to be true. A post on a Facebook group noted the person was a data entry operator for a medical marijuana company who was looking for prospective employees for jobs with a starting pay of US$24/hour.

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The person private messaged the contact who responded a number of positions were available at “The Leafly marijuana company” and that successful applicant could set flexible hours. The poster was then asked to text if interested.

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) notes that online scammers “are using advanced tactics to appear legitimate,” including using a constructed realistic online presence, creating bogus company websites (or cloning real ones) and sending out official-looking employment documents.

One scam involves a person posting his or her resume to an employment site such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed or ZipRecruiter, being contacted through email, video chat or a text message via apps like Google Hangouts, Telegram and WhatsApp, being awarded the job shortly after being interviewed and being asked to supply copies of government-issued identification and bank account numbers.

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The company then transfers money to the new hire through e-transfers or a fraudulent business cheque, which the person is asked to deposit immediately and send to the client by way of cryptocurrency or via other electronic transfers.

But once a bank picks up on the fraudulent deposits and transactions, just one or two suspicious transactions could lead to the financial institution shutting down bank accounts or blocking a person’s mobile phone so that he or she cannot do online banking.

“Once the scammers disappear with your hard-earned money, victims often turn to the company used in the scam only to find out that that company was never involved in the fake job offer,” the EPS explains.

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