When you’re browsing through the internet, you have to be careful with your safety. In Edmonton, there were multiple websites that were trying to scam citizens out of their money. Now, the Edmonton Police Service has shut these sites down with their team from the Cyber Crimes Unit.

The way that the scam operated was to pretend by offering employment to Edmonton locals. The websites seemed authentic, which led to several people being fooled. The fake companies would then say that the people they “hired” would receive a cash advance. This was followed up with the companies telling people to transfer the money they received.

“Once we became aware of this, we seized all three websites,” detective Phil Hawkins said. “Within hours of the seized domain notice appearing, we had already received a call from someone who was in the process of being scammed…The complainant visited the website to check that the job offer he was pursuing was linked to a real company, and saw our notice there.”

It only took months for many people to be scammed out of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, says Nicole Hewson of Yardstick Technologies. “Because the scammer was extremely aggressive and persistent, attempting to push applicants through the process as quickly as possible, many applicants felt it was out of character coming from a company like ours, and reached out to us to see if we were actually hiring for the position,” she said. “Thankfully we were able to catch this scam early and report it immediately to EPS, to whom I was able to direct all potential victims.”