Personal Assistant Jobs Scams
Now here is a scam I alllllmost fell for. You know I really don’t know what is wrong with me sometimes. I can’t believe I almost fell for this steaming pile of poo. I’ve never been interested in personal assistant jobs before. It sounded too good to be true. I know better. Rule #1: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
It all started two days ago when I received this email.
I know, right? The first questionable item is the return email address. Also the message itself is suspect. Seriously, just look at it. Looking at it now, I certainly feel like a moron. I mean here I am writing reviews about scams to try and protect the general population of the internet, and I go and pull a stunt like this on myself. Please let me finish my story so you can see for yourself.
I actually clicked on the link. This took me to what seemed to be a professional letter from some employment agency, I can’t remember the name of it. I did research the employment agency it came from and it seemed legit.
I read the email. I wish I had taken a screen shot to show you. I remember what it said though:
The “agency” claimed to represent a pharmacist by the name of J.Crawford. J,Crawford needed a personal assistant to run several different types of personal errands as he/she was currently out of the country attending a pharmaceutical conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The job was part time , 15-20 hours per week. could be accomplished on my own schedule and I would be paid $500 per week. Paid in advance no less. Sounds awesome don’t you think. I thought so.
Apparently, J.Crawford travels frequently. I am to receive cash advances to run errands and pay bills in his/her behalf. In addition, I am to have packages delivered either to my home or a local post office and pick them up as my schedule allows. Once I retrieve the packages it is necessary that I re-send them to an address Crawford provides.
All of my instruction will be given in the mail. I am allowed to open the packages in order to examine the contents to make sure everything is on the up and up. I don’t have to pay for the shipping myself as Crawford has a ups shipping account. The packages I ship will be charged to his/her account.
Let’s talk about the money now. Crawford will send me certified checks, which I am to deposit into my account, pay bills on Crawfords’ behalf then wire the remaining cash to somebody else. All at the expense of Crawford of course. Instructions would be given on these matters also. They must be followed to the letter.
So I filled out the application, entered my email and my mailing address. They also asked if I had a bank account. I’m not that stupid. ( At least I hope I’m not ) I told them no. ( I actually share one with another person. my little secret ) Another question they asked was how I would prefer to get my “advance payment”. Direct deposit or a certified check? Of course I said certified check. I sent off my reply and then promptly dismissed it from my thoughts. The very next day I received this email
The email address I highlighted, is how I knew my prospective employers name. If you look closely, You’ll see the last half is identical to the one I circled in the first email. Here it is again for comparison:
Nowwwwww I am starting to become suspicious.( About time right? ) I called the number given. The only response was for me to leave a message. I initiated a reverse look up of the number also. Phone registered to NOBODY. I tried to email and received a failure to deliver status from the postmaster @ mail.hotmail. I looked up the last part of the email. This part was verrrrrry interesting: This email address originated from Portugal.
Now I am merely curious to see how this situation plays out. As of the writing of this article, I am still waiting for the “certified check” to arrive. (Think I’ll get one? ) If this occurs I’ll snap a picture and post it to share with you. Then again, only two days have passed since I received the second email. Maybe tomorrow.
Update: I received the check via priority mail
It sure does look pretty darned official. Sorry the quality isn’t very good let me explain. The circled area in the upper left hand section is the name and address of the bank. I looked it up, and it does exist. Same address and everything except the zip code. It was off by one number at the end. The bottom right corner informs me two signatures are required if the amount is over 100,000. The second signature is actually a number 335611. ??????? What does that even mean? The amount of the check is, get this, $1,998.
As promised, the check came with detailed instructions on how I was to handle the “funds”. They told me I had to deposit this check into my bank account ( I ‘m pretty sure I told this guy I had no bank account ) so Crawford could have immediate access to the money. He is currently in Canada.
After the deposit, I am supposed to keep $300 as my fee and rewire the rest to this address: Mia Willis 15 Kundima Strt.Manila,1006 Philippines via Moneygram. Then I have to email Jason Crawford with the details. Senders name Moneygram reference number and the amount sent after deducting charges for transfers.
Oh, I am supposed to do this quickly to build trust in me so Crawford knows I can do this job. I am sooooo sure. I think I will send it to the bank in question and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.
How This Scam Works
Stolen funds obtained from hacked bank accounts are transferred into the “employees'”bank account and then rewired to the original thief. Certified checks or money orders are likewise deposited and rewired to another location ( the criminal ) laundering the stolen money into untraceable cash. Leaving the victim holding the bag. This is quite illegal and eventually will be traced back to the victim. Often their accounts are frozen and they become liable for the stolen money, whilst the actual thief gets away Scott free.
The scenario with packages is similar. In these cases the assistant is asked to re-ship stolen property, or products purchased with stolen credit cards obtained from phishing schemes. In effect laundering the stolen products, by sending them to the crook himself. This way the stolen goods can’t be easily traced back to him, leaving the victim in a very precarious legal situation.
A number of variations of this scam are in existence, preying on innocent people who are merely looking for work. Don’t become a victim to these types of cyber-cons. Protect yourself by investigating the situation Scam repellent 101, never ever give out personal financial information.
All being said and done, if you are truly interested in earning extra income I can help you with that. It won’t cost you a dime and no credit card is required. Either click here or uncover the secrets to making money online by clicking on the square located in the margin above. Nuff said!
I really want to help you get started with your own moneymaking career online, and help you to avoid the situation I almost got hooked into before my common sense prevailed ( Good thing it did ). If you have had something similar happen to you, tell me about it in the comment section below.