A woman says she received a fake job offer and promises of a great payday after submitting her resumé on a job search website – a scam the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says happens regularly.

Atalide Messina has been unemployed for 11 months, ever since her employer of 26 years closed down.

She said she is struggling to find work and decided to join websites like Jobboom.com and the Emploi Québec page.

"Nothing's come up," she said. "I'm starting to go from management [jobs] down to dishwashing. I'd love to have a dishwashing job right now."

To her surprise, Messina received an email congratulating her on her new position as a mystery shopper for Regency Solution, a fake company.

She was sent a $1,500 cheque and told to cash it at Western Union or Moneygram services. She was then asked to send $1,300 to Spain.

This is a common scam — by the time the money is off to Spain, the cheque bounces and the funds are gone.

The Canadian anti-fraud centre said it receives thousands of calls from people who say they have received similar scam letters after using online job sites.

In fact, the centre said it has received more than 5,000 complaints since the scam began in 2006.

"They don't realize that it's going to ruin their bank account, that it's going to freeze their assets while the bank investigates," said Daniel Williams, head of the Anti-Fraud Centre.

It is nearly impossible to find the source of these scams since most job seekers use several different websites to explore employment opportunities.

"It's unreal. They go from trying to scam the elderly, to trying to scam the young ones, to trying to scam the ones desperately looking for work," said Messina.

For its part, Emploi Québec requires prospective employers to register with a company number in order to get access to people's resumés.

Last August, a Montreal man lost $2,000 in a similar scam while looking for a roommate on the popular website Kijiji.

At the time, Williams said it can take banks up to seven weeks to realize a cheque is fake.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Social Media Scams

    Scammers use sites, like Facebook and Twitter, to confuse consumers during the holidays. Be careful what you click on or 'like' — especially when you see online contests, fan page deals or apps to receive discounts.

  • Malicious Mobile Apps

    As the popularity of apps have grown, so have the chances that you could download a malicious application designed to steal your information or even send out premium-rate text messages without your knowledge.

  • Travel Scams

    Before you book your flight or hotel, keep in mind that scammers are looking to hook you up with deals that may be fake. Scammers can use phony travel webpages that use beautiful pictures and low prices to lure you in.

  • Fake Brands

    If you want to buy something fancy, go straight to the store. Cheap Rolex watches and pharmaceuticals may be advertised as the “perfect gift” for that special someone — and be 100 per cent fake.

  • Apple Scams

    Some sites will mention Apple product giveaways in phony contests and phishing emails as a way to grab computer users’ personal information. If you see an ad that says "free iPad," it's probably fake.

  • Skype Message Scare

    Skype users, be alert: there is a new Skype message scam that attempts to infect computers and take personal information. Never click any unfamiliar links that are sent to your chatbox.

  • Bogus Gift Cards

    Be wary of buying gift cards from third parties — just imagine how embarrassing it would be to find out that the gift card you gave someone was fake.

  • Holiday SMiShing

    “SMiSishing” is phishing via text message. Just like with email phishing, the scammer tries to lure you in to reveal personal information.

  • Phony E-Tailers

    Phony e-commerce sites that appear real try to lure you into typing in your credit card number and other personal details, often by promoting great deals.

  • Fake Charities

    This is one of the biggest scams every holiday season. As we open up our hearts and wallets, you may be giving to a fake charity altogether — do your research before you donate.

  • Dangerous E-cards

    E-cards are a popular way to send a quick “thank you” or holiday greeting, but some are malicious and may contain spyware or viruses that download onto your computer.

  • Phony Classifieds

    Online classified sites may be a great place to look for holiday gifts and part-time jobs, but beware of phony offers that ask for too much personal information.