Ivy Hotchkiss remembers the moment last December when she realized she was the victim of an elaborate online job scam.

“I sat on the floor in shock and disbelief,” said Hotchkiss. “Just clutching my computer, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?'”

The 22-year-old Toronto student had spent weeks looking online for part-time work, to help cover expenses in her final year at college.

“I had applied to every Tim Horton’s, every McDonald’s,” Hotchkiss told Go Public.

She thought she had finally secured a job working from home as a data entry clerk for Aritzia — a trendy women’s clothing chain, based in Vancouver.

“They offered me $30 an hour, which I thought was amazing,” she said. “I immediately said yes.”

Her new employer sent a cheque for $3,485, instructing her to e-transfer those funds to an office supply company to purchase needed equipment.

She deposited the cheque, watched her balance increase, waited 48 hours to make…

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