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Fake Job Ads on Government Website JobActive End In Laundering Money

Fake Job Ads on Government Website JobActive End In Laundering Money

June 20, 2016

Fake jobs are being offered by criminals on the Australian website JobActive, tricking users into handing over their personal bank account details.

JobActive is a job search portal run by the Department of Employment, and has about 275,000 registered users.

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Victims of the money laundering scams receive cash in their bank accounts after applying for the fake jobs, and are told to transfer the money to strangers overseas.

Melbourne woman Poonam Kala was recruited for a money laundering operation after applying for an administration job on JobActive last year.

“I know that it is a criminal thing that I have done,” she told..

Ms Kala believed she was applying for a job with the aviation giant Boeing.

She was told she would be working from home.

But a month after being offered the job, she still had not been given any work to do.

One morning, she received an email from her “HR manager” telling her that $15,000 had been deposited in her bank account.

“She said, ‘I will give you all the instructions, what you need to do’,” Ms Kala said.

“And then she reminded me again that because we are dealing with the defence and military things, you do not need to tell anyone what you are doing.”

Ms Kala was told to withdraw the cash and send it via Western Union to a woman named Anna Petrova in Warsaw, Poland.

Ms Kala said the bank put a block on her account after she tried to send a portion of the money by electronic transfer.

“They said, ‘we understand what you’re doing, but we just want to let you know the money you have received into your account is stolen money’,” she said.

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Number of fraudulent job ads has risen: Department of Employment

Ms Kala said she immediately went to her local police station, but she was referred to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

ACORN was set up at the end of 2014 to ensure cyber crimes were referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

But more than six months after reporting the matter to ACORN, Ms Kala has not been contacted by any law enforcement agencies.

In a statement, the agency that administers ACORN, Crimtrac, said it could not comment on Ms Kala’s case for privacy reasons.

The Department of Employment declined an interview with 7.30.

In a statement, the Department said it had seen an increase in fraudulent job advertisements this year.

“Additional protective measures are being implemented in response to the increase, including stronger messaging on the site cautioning users to check or research employers before applying for jobs,” it said.

But the department said it relied on an automated system to check whether job ads were genuine.

It also does manual audits of small number of job ads.

“The department has a multi-tiered strategy for managing any attacks and fraudulent activity on this site,” it said.

“For security reasons we are unable to disclose full details.”

7.30 has spoken to another victim of a money laundering scam, and has seen evidence of other job seekers sending their resumes to the scammers that targeted Ms Kala.

Deakin University law professor Louis De Koker says it was possible for people who had been caught up in money laundering scams to be prosecuted.

“Whether they have exposure to prosecution depends on whether law enforcement officials believe that it was sheer naivety,” he said.

“Unfortunately in many cases there will be indicators that other people might think afterwards that the person might have noticed, should have noticed, or in fact did notice, and that is where concerns around liability arise.”

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