THIS IS A LONG POST BUT ONE I HOPE YOU’LL READ TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT EMPLOYMENT SCAMS AND THINGS TO LOOK FOR. SEEMS LIKE WHEN WE GET OURSELVES INVOLVED IN A SCAM I WRITE LONG POSTS. SORRY THIS ONE WON’T HAVE PICTURES OF POLICE CARS LINED UP OUTSIDE BUT IT DOES HAVE A HAPPY ENDING JUST LIKE CONROE, TX DID!!
Here’s my story about the employment scam. As I write this I am holding a Cashier’s Check in my hand in the amount of $2,913.00 sent to me by Priority Mail from my new employer Care UK Healthcare. But I’m a little ahead of myself by starting here, so I’ll start at the beginning of the tale!
It could be very easy to be fooled by scams like this. What I found after doing research is that in this particular scam they send you a check, you deposit it, they get you to order from a specific company with your debit card. Nothing you ordered is ever sent to you and the check comes back as a fake and you are out the amount of money you paid for the software which you’ll never receive because they pocketed the money. This is a variation on the one that happens on Craig’s List a lot where they send you a cashier’s check or money order for a purchase but oops! they made the check for too much. They ask you to send them the difference back by Western Union and when the check is returned as a fake you’re stuck.
Here’s how this one played out. When you sign up with an online employment agency you complete your profile for all to see. You can either apply for positions they have posted or an employer can look through profiles to find someone that fits their needs. I applied for a data entry/customer service position with a company called Care UK Healthcare. I then received an invitation to interview from them which included information about their company, asking me to review their website and learn about the company before the interview. I did that and found out they are in the United Kingdom and are part of their government provided health care program. Sounded interesting so I went on to step two in the process. Here’s the initial contact email. I feel certain that the real Care UK Healthcare was not involved in anyway with this scam.
I am Karen McCormick the hiring manager of the company (Care UK Healthcare). Your resume was reviewed on (www.odesk.com) and posted to our company’s database. Your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe that with effective training, you will be productive to the company. Interested Applicants should reply back to this email (firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com) for the job details and HR procedures or call the company’s Rep on (+15416329586).
Next, in Google Talk I connected with Karen McCormick (that’s the picture that shows up for her in Google Talk) the HR Director, whose email info they provided for this purpose (firstname.lastname@example.org) and who, on their website, was listed as the Director for Human Resources.. The interview was done through Google Talk with her asking a bunch of questions (a lot seemed like canned questions but interviews are suppose to all be the same for the same position so I really didn’t think too much about that) and me giving brilliant answers. How I wish I had saved that conversation to share – I was too good to be true!! Several things she said during the interview started raising those red flags, more came later and they never went down.
I spent an hour one day and an hour and a half the next day interviewing on Google Talk with her. At times during the interview when she’d tell me to hang on for a while so she could enter info or find out something I spent my time wisely. I Googled (what DID we ever do without Google) “care uk employment rip off” or some combination like that. How eye opening it was! I found a Google Talk dialog eerily similar to the one I had that day and the day before. Same questions, same compliments on their parts like this one where their lack of spacing between commas was obvious in both my interview and the one I saw on line.
Due to your level of experience and communication skills the company has decided to give you a chance for you to work for the company and will like to see your diligence,Charisma,Committment to this job. Congratulations!
Here’s some signs to look for that indicate an employment scam and all of them happened in mine:
- Correspondence from them contains misspelled words, improper capitalization (i.e. Hr dept or Human resources dept.). Everything I’ve received from them contained some sort of misspelling or terribly poor (not British) grammar. Even in the message that came with the check a word was misspelled.
Email addresses are not business addresses – their HR Director’s email was email@example.com, their Director of Finance’s email was firstname.lastname@example.org. What HR Director or Finance Director (which is what Paul Humphrey is suppose to be) uses a @gmail.com or @aol.com email?
Email addresses they use don’t match up with the real businesses website address – the first email address they used was email@example.com and the real website address is careuk.com. If you type into the web address box careuk.com you’ll get the real company, but careuk.co takes you no where.
Pushy behavior on the part of the employer. They started to insist that I check into the status of the check after a day or two.
Constant communication from them in an odd manner. Supposedly this HR Director has the time every day to send me a Google Talk to see how I’m doing and I get an email everyday from my supposed trainer who (on the real company’s website) is the Director of Finance.
Any information regarding your banking account and how long you’ve been with that bank is a huge sign. They did not ask for my account number but if I had deposited the check and sent them a copy of the deposit slip that they wanted they would have had my account number to do whatever they wanted with it. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:
Karen McCormicWhat bank do you operate with and how long have you been operating this account?
Rosalyn Chauvin (office)I’d prefer not to give that information.Karen McCormickNot requesting your bank Information, just to confirm bank name if check deposits are allowedRosalyn Chauvin (office)Capitol One
Once they told me they wanted to hire me they told me that I would need to purchase specific software from their specific retailer. They would send me a check to cover that and once it became available in my account I was to send them a copy of the deposit slip and could order the software and they were sending me a new laptop that I’d use to connect with the software to their servers. BIG FAT RED FLAG!
Here’s a portion of the letter they sent me about the software I’m to purchase with the check, about the checking being on its way and depositing it into my ATM. I’m thinking this many accounting software programs was included to justify the large amount of the check.
I believe the check will be delivered to your home address today, so i need you to be on the look out for it.
Here are the name’s of the software’s you will need to start working with SAGE 50 COMPLETE ACCOUNTING,ACCOUNTEDGE,CYMA,QuickBooks Pro ,NetSuite Small Business 9.5 , Bookkeeper 2012,Simply Accounting Pro 2011 .I believe you have an ATM close to you where the check will be deposited?Note: You are expected to email a copy of the deposit receipt so it can be reviewed and forwarded to the acct dept as proof of deposit.Training dept.
From that moment until now (about a week) twice a day both the HR Director and the Finance Director contacted me on Google Talk and sent me an email asking if the check had been received. They provided a tracking number and I was able to track where it was. Since we use a mail forwarding address in South Dakota and that’s the address I gave them I knew there would be a delay but at this point I knew it was a scam and just wanted to ride it out and see how far they would go. I told them that the tracking showed it was delivered in SD on Thursday and I immediately called the mail forwarding people to ask them to send us our mail making sure they included the Priority Mail from the company.
We received our forwarded mail today and I received the long awaited check for $2,913.00 drawn on a Federal Credit Union in Connecticut. I went to the bank’s webpage and guess what is on their homepage – a SCAM warning!!! While it is not the same company name everything else is the same. I found other information in this same Google search that indicated there were other companies using these checks fraudulently.
SCAM ALERT: Have you responded to an online request for employment or some other online solicitation? Did you receive a check in the mail from a company called GL.ACCESS drawn on Windsor Locks Federal Credit Union or a Windsor Locks Federal Credit Union check marked CASHIER’S CHECK? DO NOT ATTEMPT TO NEGOTIATE THESE CHECKS!!! THESE ARE NOT LEGITIMATE CHECKS AND THIS IS A SCAM. CONTACT THE CREDIT UNION AT 860-292-2940 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
I wrote to the real company early on in the process and have not received any reply. I notified oDesk about the first few things they did and they blocked the company from dealing with oDesk.
I believe I’ve sent this email to all the various fake aliases you all have used in this employment scam. The long awaited Cashier’s Check was received in the mail and upon calling the bank to verify that it was good I found out that this is a fake check, one of many issued on this Federal Credit Union by scammers such as ya’ll.
I have saved all documentation from you including our Google chats and have submitted them to several scam websites and others that may be affected by this scam. oDesk has already blocked your account.
This type of scam is well documented on the web and it really didn’t take long into the process before I figured it out. I just had to wait for the check to get here to confirm that it was fake – and it is.What a pitiful excuse for a human you are, preying on people in their time of need. Get a real job and stop trying to get money from unsuspecting people through scams.P.S. The banking information I gave you was false.