Scam to Avoid

Last Update: August 19, 2016

Here’s a scam to avoid!!

As you know I have been working as a Freelance Writer for the past couple of months (thanks to encouragement from all of you) and one of the scams that seems to be prevalent is a job scam. I ran into it on a writing site but you might also find it on Craigslist, linkedin and other job boards. You see an ad about a professional company hiring for one position or another. You send a message of interest. What you get back is the dream job. It usually includes a position right up your alley, just the job you wanted. In my case it was a position with a major corporation as a creative writer doing contract work. I could do all that was described in the job description. I sent my resume and a 500-word example of my writing. I received this in return:

Hello Am Michael Jones a creative writer and an Assistant Editor in chief for Penguin books and have Had Lots of Experience in Corporate writing and Contract Writing in all Sphere of live..I am Hiring a freelance writer who is creative and flexible in writing and someone who has passion for writing as well. I have contracted for Different companies and they are too much for only me to handle so i need an helping hand to share this with and to learn as well during the process..Kindly give a creative writing of 500 words and send your resume to Michaeljones@publicist.com for further assessment and Review. Thank you.

I knew immediately this was a scam. Between the rampant errors, which he wouldn’t have if he were truly an editor, and the request to send materials to his email (all correspondence is supposed to take place on the immediate platform to keep writers from scams) and the fact that he is hiring for another company when he supposedly works for Penguin books were all dead giveaways. I thought I would play it out. So I sent a resume, address and phone removed, and picked one of my blogs to send to the email address.

The next day I received a letter telling me how impressed with the write ups I sent (I sent one write up) he wants to hire me.

Hello Liz,

I am impressed by your write ups as you make an excellent candidate for blog posting, most of my clients are seeking for writers who can write good stories and web content about there products and services.i would like to conduct an online interview with you to discuss your duties and pay-scale. During the interview, i will explain more about the available roles in the company you would be contracting for, and of course, get to know more about you. Kindly reply this email if interested. I look forward to reading from you.

He then asked me to go to the company’s website (not Penguin books) and do a couple of writing tasks. I did it. Now he wants my phone number so we can do a phone interview. I’m thinking, NO WAY. So I tell him I either do the interviews through the original site where the job was posted, or through Skype (I set up a fake Skype address just for this.)

Instead of conducting a Skype or video interview he sent an email with around 50 questions. Many of them irrelevant to a writing position. One of the first statements was these questions were for a blogging/content writing position, but after the questions he gives me the duties of the Social Media Manager – not the position for which I am applying!!!

My pay will supposedly be 30.75per hour during training, which I won’t get until the end of three weeks of training and 65.75per hour after training.

Now I know it is a scam. Not because of the pay, but because they are going to send me a check up front to buy equipment for a home office. After depositing it in my bank, I am to buy a computer, all in one printer/fax, desk, chair, and various other items. I will be getting regular checks in the future that I will use to help with payroll, etc. Basically, we are dealing with a money laundering scheme or the check cashing scheme. I get the check, put it in my bank, send it out as payroll to fictitious workers, by the time the bank tries to clear the check, the scammers have the money and I would be stuck repaying all of the funds.

Never accept a job where they want to send you a check. Work through a payment system PayPal, or the payment platform where you get the job.

I also got several emails that were so badly written I knew they were written by different people:

Hello good day and i hope you're having a splendid day ahead. would like you know you much better that's if you dont and i beleive we would make a good team if we work together.. i want you to understand the code of conduct that applys to your job.. feel free with me for am an open boos.. you can send me your cell # so we could correspond much better..

I told him my husband and I share a cell phone.

How would you be able to work effectively without a person cell phone i can reach you on.. maybe with this first task you would be able to get a new phone and be deligent as well. sorry we are not allow to skype during company hours and that is not professional enough..Kindly send me a valid means of identification in other to have you in our database and an offer letter would be issued to you enabling you be an employee of Nexus communications..

Definitely be wary of online shysters.

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WilliamBH Premium
This is a great .. I don't get how people actually get caught with this rubbish .. the scammers hit rate must be very low. Thank you for the "entertainment". Cheers, William.
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JudeP Premium
If this is on the platform I think it is, be sure to flag it to them also Liz :)
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catlady13 Premium
I did!
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JudeP Premium
Good, they need to know :) Hope you're doing a little better at the moment? I've missed you :)
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janmar Premium
Scammers are every where. I personally have never understood that mentality.
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catlady13 Premium
me neither, if they would take the energy they use on scams and use it toward a job, they would be making more money than in the scams
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janmar Premium
Exactly my thoughts!
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GlenPalo Premium
Scams are getting more sophisticated. But this isn't one of them.
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catlady13 Premium
No kidding!!! LOL
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stevecox Premium
Thanks for the warning !!!
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