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Fruit Picking Job Scam

How the scam works:

If you are looking for a job in a warmer climate, whether in a different province or state, be careful of a new scam making its rounds nowadays. The impostors advertise themselves as farmers offering great opportunities for those interested in fruit picking. "Our farm hires workers as soon as possible, for twenty dollars an hour, for minimum ten hours a day", sounds the ad. You might find this on sites like Craigslist, Kijiji, or Oodle.

Whether it's about strawberry, pear, or orange picking, the scammers go a step further and even set up websites featuring real farming businesses. Even worse, they impersonate real people. So how does the scam work?

Thinking that within a couple of months you'll be able to rack up a good $8,000 - 10,000, plus a free sun tan, you apply for the job. After a short interview, the 'farmer' is happy to have you work for him, and even provides accomodation, since the farm is located in the middle of nowhere, 600 km away from your city. "We have six rooms here. They are all very spacious, so you should be fine", might say the farmer.

However, to show him that you're serious about the job, he will ask you for half of the accomodation as a deposit. "We had a bunch of young punks lately who got us booked but they never showed up and I lost quite a bit of product", adds the farmer, angrily, justifying his deposit. You agree, send him $400, and pack your bags. Little do you know that when you get to the farm, the real owners might look at you and never understand what you're talking about.

How to avoid:

Never pay a job before a job pays you. Wiring money should always be a red flag. Look only for legitimate opportunities. Search for the real website and call the farm yourself, but not on the number that the ad provides.

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