Saturday, February 20, 2010

Job scams by the masses

It's unbelievable. I thought scams only targeted consumers. But in today's economy, where our national unemployment rate is nearing 10%, scammers have found a way to dupe the most desperate group of people- the ones actively looking for jobs.

It makes me sick.

Ever since losing my job and filing countless numbers of applications, ranging from 15 to 20 minutes each, the only responses I manage to get are scams! I haven't received a single positive response for an actual interview.

Below are the few examples that have managed to make their way into my inbox:

I got your resume for the position of an administrative assistant but the post has been filled up.Your resume has been reviewed and i did appreciate it,but there is an alternative position available which is the post of a Personal Assistant,so if you are interested in the post then I will give this a GO ! As my Personal Assistant,your activities amongst other things will include; *Running personal errands, supervisions and monitoring. Scheduling programmes, flights and keeping me up to date with them.Acting as an alternative telephone correspondence while I'm away.Making regular contacts and drop-offs on my behalf.Handling and monitoring some of my financial activities.

Basic wage is $500 Weekly.  I tend to have a very busy schedule at this point,as I am presently in Canada and i will be back in Three Weeks time. I'm online most of the time as I am hard of hearing so I prefer we contact each other through E-mails,but if there is need for me to call, I will be glad to do that.

..... Tasks include to run some errands out to some of the orphanage home, I do that every month. A payment in form of a Cashier Check/Money Order will be sent over to you from one of my clients 

 The email sounded interesting, although not in my price range. I wanted to confirm if she would be reporting taxes, and surprise, never received a response. In Canada and not back for three weeks with funds deposited to me right away? Yeah right.

The following one was about a financial manager position for a company based in Russia:
My name is Vadim Smolniy. I am personnel managr of our Co. Our department got your information on Yahoo!HotJobs and Our dept sure that u are great candidte for the position of  US Financial Managr.

They even had a legitimate looking website:
Design Extensions, LLC

One quick look search through Google led me to immediate results of "Stolen Identity Scam". Turns out a similar company based in Florida was victimized by this Russian entity. Vadim's offer for the position was extended because:

  1. All financial services operations have to take place inside the USA
  2. Customers cannot make payments to a company don’t have offices inside the US, even if the company is an industry leader around the world.  Our Home Office is located in Russia, which is why customers are not able to directly transfer money (payments for our designs) to our office in Russia.
So what they initially wanted was for someone to receive payments into a checking account, and wire the money, while being entitled 5% of the deposits received from US customers. The so-called Vadim is still looking for my participation, telling me there are 5 other candidates in line for the offer and that I "should hurry for this 3-hour a week work opportunity!"

Be wary of foreign entities.

The most recent one went one step further:

I received a call from a woman asking me if I was still job searching. I told her yes, and she said that they would be conducting interviews the following day, and that I could come in at 1pm "to discuss available job opportunities within their company". She told me to bring a copy of my resume and encouraged me to visit their website to form a list of questions I may have regarding the company.

I wasn't too psyched when I found out it was an insurance company servicing the senior sector. I'm not interested in sales or commission-based employment. I had decided upon the interview anyway, and left it at that. Late that night, I began doing more research on the company to prepare myself for the next day, and before I could finish typing " Bankers life and casualty" in Google, the drop down menu gave "complaints", "scam" and "rip off" within the first 7 results.

Upon further review, I found out that the company is in fact legitimate, but operates with unethical practices.Their insurance premiums for seniors is 3 times that of the norm, and agents are commission based, with a drop out rate of 90% within the first 6 months of employment. Agents are not employed directly by the company, but subcontracted, and receive no health benefits. The interview process takes place with 20 other individuals over 3 meetings, and must pay $210 for "start up costs". They must obtain their license, most of which fail to receive, regardless of passing the practice portion online repeatedly.

Most agents do not make over $20,000 during their first year, but can increase their commission after years of service and experience. Payments are direct deposited into their personal accounts, where Bankers can withdraw or deposit as they see fit for a period of 60 days; it's all in the contract you sign when you begin. This forum post describes the previous individuals' experiences with the company.

Needless to say, I saved myself 60 miles of commute that day for the interview. So now, I'm faced with doing more research on potential scam employers than on legitimate ones.

Where is the end to fraud??


  1. I know job searching is frustrating especially with all of the scams, I'm going through the same thing right now, but don't give up hope. I'm sure there is a great job out there waiting for you.

  2. I'm also going through the same thing with scams. The most recent one was a phone call I recieved about a job I applied for months ago.

    They "offered" me a trainee position to test video games. Only it was a course to train to be a "games developer" instead. They send a "rep" round to your house to bully you into giving them your bank details then they give you a "loan" of £5000 to pay for a course NO ONE has completed. I cancelled it quicker than you could say I love Nintendo.

    Hope you get a job soon Ren.