Like many of my readers, I'm on the hunt for a job. Sure, I can flip burgers, but I have a master's degree in Psychology and should be eligible for many opportunities that are above minimum wage. I'm not trying to say that I am better than anyone else, but I'm looking for the next stage of my career. However, it looks like I may be the next fry cook because of these scammers that prey on vulnerable people like me, who really need a job.
Scammers are getting smarter. A couple of years ago, it was pretty obvious when someone was a scammer; a weird "reply to" email (the suffix is something like replyonly.jp or a generic email service like outlook.com) addresses, broken or misused English, etc. But now, these jerks are pretending to be actual people at actual businesses. As in, they use a real person's name at a real company. If you research this person and company, you'll get lots of hits about them that seem to make them legit. I can't even imagine how many legit businesses are being spoofed, and if no one tells them, this will continue.
MY FIRST EXPERIENCE: RSD RECRUITMENT:
The first time I encountered a scammer was with a "company" calling themselves RSD Recruitment. So, of course, I did my due diligence. I researched the company, looked at all of their social media, etc. They looked legitimate...because RSD Recruitment IS a legit business in the UK. I was texting and emailing a person called "Andrea Richmond."
So, as things moved along, I got a "check" for almost $4,000 to buy "supplies." I was immediately hounded by my "contact," who wanted me to send $1,000 to this person and $2,000 to that person, which all had very strange Zelle and CashApp names (Lashonda and The Number One). Andrea answered my question, "Who is this [person I am sending money to]?" with "Supplier." I had a friend call the business phone number in England, and she got in touch with a person named Tillie who explained that they do not do business in the US. She was thankful that my friend pointed this scam out, and they are now doing extra things to protect their company from scammers. So if you're the real Andrea Richmond, take heed.
Here's the quick and dirty version of our email conversations:
Red flag number one at the time: "She" can't talk to me.
Red Flag Number Two at the Time: "She" is not using a company address.
Red flag number three at the time: "Her" signature was absent on emails and "she" preferred to communicate via text.
Red flag number four at the time: "She" never answered questions like, "What is the company website address?" with a direct answer. "She" said things like, "Look at my first text," which had no website URL, but just a company name.
The BIGGEST Red Flag: "She" emailed me a "check," front and back, for me to print out and deposit so I could buy my "supplies." I have whited out the payor information because this could be a real business, and I don't want to cause trouble to innocent people.
So, of course, I was very angry and disappointed because I need a job. These jerks prey on the vulnerable. So, my friend and I played a little prank on them, making fake transfer confirmations, and they got a bit confused. After a couple of these, I was done. I sent "Andrea" an email calling "her" out on this scam. I have gotten no reply. Yes, I'm reporting them to the feds.
MY SECOND EXPERIENCE: BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB
The second time I was the focus of a scammer was when I replied to a LinkedIn post from Bristol Myers Squibb, which is a well-known, large pharmaceutical company. I was contacted by "Marissa," who had supposedly reviewed my resume and thought I was "the perfect fit." Everything she sent me looked and sounded legit until I got an email telling me they were going to mail me a check so I could buy supplies. Sound familiar?
Notice anything off about "her" signature?]
I emailed her asking about all these things: why do I need to pay for my stuff instead of the company, why is your email not from a company website, and why don't I have a phone number for you? So far, no reply.
I did some research on Marissa MacGauley, and it appears she is an employee of BMS. But I have no doubt that this is not her. Ms. MacGauley, be careful!
So, I am back to square one with no full-time job, but I have learned a lot! I hope this information helps you avoid these scammers if you're job hunting. In my opinion, these people are hitting new lows scamming on vulnerable populations, including the elderly, job seekers, and the indigent. Be careful out there!