An IT worker is struggling to comprehend how he lost $150,000 of his, and his parents’, life savings to a manipulative job scam that fooled him into thinking he was working and earning an income.

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Josh*, who has a degree in cybersecurity and wishes to remain anonymous, thought he clicked on a paid job advertisement for Woolworths on Instagram but was soon taken to a WhatsApp chat.

The scammers told him a job advertisement for a supermarket had been filled but falsely claimed a new online job for the hotel chain ParkRoyal had opened up. is not suggesting any wrongdoing by ParkRoyal or Woolworths, nor that they were aware of the scam in any way.

Josh was sceptical and questioned the scammers about their legitimacy but his fears were allayed and he was convinced he was applying for a real job.

“I’ll just give it a try and see what comes out of it,” Josh thought.

The 27-year-old was then taken on an elaborate journey of lies, with scammers giving him training to perform online “orders” for the impersonated company in exchange for commission.

The fake instructor showed Josh how to perform the online tasks and he was paid $100 into his personal bank account after providing his BSB and account number.

They told Josh he had to then transfer his own money to receive more orders and once he had completed the orders, he would then get paid.

Josh paid $120 to the system and received his commission of $500 after completing 40 orders, which could be done anytime between 10am and 10pm when the “system” was open.

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