Applicant Warns Job Seekers of Home Based Data Entry Positions

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Cuyahoga County, OH. As Americans return to work, they depend on various tools to aid them with their job search. Job seekers often use newspapers, job boards, and social media sites. As people search for employment, there is a possibility that some job opportunities may be too good to be true.

Recently, a job seeker applied for a Data Entry position with a healthcare organization. The woman found the job on a social media site. The job post claims that this job is a work-from-home opportunity. The salary is $25.00 per hour with benefits. After the applicant applied for the job, she received an email from a man named Lewis Johnson. Johnson invited the woman to a telegraph interview. "Our Talent Acquisition Specialist has received, reviewed, and evaluated the resume you posted on Indeed have been shortlisted for an online interview because we firmly believe your skill set meets the desired criteria. We think you have the required qualifications to undergo an online consultation. Johnson continued. Following the newest online screening introduced by the Bureau of Human Resources, you download the Telegram application (on your mobile device or PC) and set up an account to contact Mrs. Jenette Washington. Our starting salary for the position is $13 - $25 per hour. Working hours are flexible Monday – Friday; full-time & part-time. Depending on your preference, the pay cycle is weekly or bi-weekly.

We look forward to having you on the team."

After receiving the email, the applicant downloaded the telegraph app and scheduled an appointment with Jeanette Washington. "Initially, I thought this job opportunity was legitimate. My gut feeling started to say otherwise. Ms. Washington started to talk about money during our telegram conference. This interview did not sit well with me. The interview sounded like a scam," stated the applicant.

The online interview between the virtual online Hiring Manger, Jenette Washington, and Harris took place on the Telegram app:

"I'm Mrs. Jenette Washington, Hiring Manager at Healthscope LTD. I will be the one to brief you about the positions and the company. May I know your full name and location (City, State)?" "This question was an immediate red flag. When I applied for the position, I wrote where I live. I have read about job scams, so I moved with caution. I did not want to make any assumptions," said the applicant. The applicant continued with the interview.

The Hiring Manager informed Harris that Australia is the home location for the company. "Soon, we will set up a few offices near your location. We are looking for 14 new hires to work from home. We are currently exte ing to the United States. Once we build new branches at your location, you can either choose to work in the office or continue working from home," wrote Washington. Washington also discussed duties and responsibilities, experiences, and health benefits. Washington continued with a series of questions:

  1. Have you ever had any experience working from home?
  2. Are you currently employed?
  3. Will you devote 5 hours of your time to our company?
  4. What do you understand by privacy and code of conduct?
  5. Do you have a computer and printer?
  6. What is the name of your bank?
  7. What means of payment do you prefer: check or direct deposit?

"I found the question about my bank to be interesting. While I answered the questions for Washington, I looked at the original email from Lewis. The email came from a Gmail account, not the company they said they represented. My radar went up. I knew something was wrong," scoffed the applicant.

According to documents, upon the closure of the interview, Washington offered the applicant the job. "We have decided to hire you due to your level of experience and communication skills. The HR department decided to give you a chance," wrote Washington. "I laughed because something was not right. I asked her, what are the next steps," stated the applicant.

Washington informed the applicant that she would need accounting and software programs and a time tracker to commence the training and orientation. "The company will provide the funds for the software programs and working equipment via check. The check will cover the cost of a laptop, printer, scanner, time tracker, and other equipment. We will have one of our 107 affiliates send the check to you," wrote Washington.

In the conversation, Washington informs the applicant that once the check is received, she will be referred to a certified vendor to have the work completed. Washington asked the applicant if she understood the message.

The applicant replied yes, and asked if it was possible to have a ZOOM call. Washington replied, "that will be during your training."

According to records, this conversation occurred on June 28, 2022, and the applicant never heard back from Washington or Lewis. "I knew this was a scam. Anytime a potential employer starts to ask about money, it's probably a scam. I have read stories about job scams, but I never thought I would be a potential victim. I followed my gut feeling. I knew it would likely be a scam if I could not get a face time interview. Job seekers need to know that they should be careful about working from Home Data Entry jobs. If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam", laughed the applicant.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office warned about five of the most common scams targeting people looking for jobs or extra income. The Attorney General's Offices last several of the four top job scams:

  1. Work-from-home office job. A company hires applicants to work from home shipping packages, processing payments, completing surveys, or entering data. The company informs the applicant to provide an upfront payment to set up a home office or to purchase software, computers, or other supplies. The job is phony, and the applicant will lose any money sent.
  2. Mystery shopper. The first assignment is to deposit a check and then wire transfer a portion of the funds to someone else using the wire-transfer service at a local retail store. In reality, the payment the applicant has received has no value,
  3. They are running a web-based business. In exchange for an upfront fee from the applicant, a company promises to set up a web-based business that will generate income through advertising revenue or products sold online by other companies. The claims are false, and the site will not earn money for the applicant.
  4. Nanny/caregiver scam. Caregivers go online looking for work opportunities posted on caregiver or classified websites. They find a job and communicate via email or text message with the client, who sends a check, asks the caregiver to deposit it, and then sends some of the money to a landlord or purchases supplies related to the position. Despite the "client's" claims, it's all a scam.
  5. Wrap your car in an advertisement. A company claims an applicant can make hundreds of dollars per week by wrapping their vehicle in an ad for an energy drink or other product. The company directs the applicant to provide payment before the company's ad can be placed on the car.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's office website, the above are some of the most prolific job scams. Job seekers must be careful. Signs of a job scam include:

  1. Interviews were conducted only online or via instant messenger.
  2. Employers who send a check before the work has started.
  3. The company asks applicants to purchase items for a home office or supplies.
  4. Recruiters who claim to work for a large company but use a third-party email account instead of a company email address are a tell-tell sign of a potential scam.
  5. Employers who ask applicants to send money via wire transfer or prepaid card are alarming.
  6. Offers that seem too good to be true.

Consumers can report potential scams to the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

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"Brown On Cleveland" features podcast host, licensed social worker, and social justice activist Kimberly F. Brown. Former talk show host with WOVU.95fm. Brown is the Chief Administrator of The Brown Report Newspaper. Brown experience is with investigative reporting.

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