With a shaky economy, people are trying to scam you out of your money
I must be the king of getting scam offers because I received another scam over the past week. Since this is not my first time getting scammed, I was able to pick up the signs very early. Let me run through some details you should take note of in case you run into a similar scam. This scam almost cost me $7,470.
Recently, I have been applying for new writing jobs online. My Linkedin and Indeed profile show that I am actively looking for new jobs either in the writing field or operations based on my time in the military. I’m trying to keep my options open.
One day, I received a text message from 281–929–8994 (or 313–583–9176 which showed up on my phone). I asked who it was and the person asked if I was looking for a job. I said yes and the person told me to contact Aaron Piercing on Google Hangout for an interview. I was still skeptical at this point but contacted Aaron.
Within 30 minutes, Aaron sent me a message on Google Hangouts. After a few minutes of messaging, he gives me a good rundown on a job with a foreign company. The company was Elitech Group that operates in Puteaux, France. I did a quick search for the company online to see what the company did.
At this point, I was getting a little comfortable, but still cautious. Do companies really do interviews over Google Hangout? Aaron said I would either be an administrator or in the operations field. He said I could pick what I wanted to do after going through the training. At this point, I told him I was ready to get started. For the following day, he said I should check in with him on Google Hangouts at 8 am. Aaron sent me a message at 7:30 and asked how my evening was.
From there he said I could get started after the company sends me money to buy computer equipment from one of their vendors. The equipment consisted of:
* HP Pro Book 450 Laptop Genuine Windows 8 Excel 64-bit
* HP Office jet Pro 8500A Premium All-in-One (Fax, Scanner, Copier, and Printer)
* The required Software (Peach Tree (US Patent 1 accounting software), The MYOB Essential software 2014, Real-Time Accounting Integration CRM Software and Quick-books 2014).
I noticed the Windows version was an older version but was thinking if the company was paying for this then I’ll work with it. Aaron went on and said that the company would send me a check to pay the vendor. I agreed and Aaron sent me a check for $4720 that I deposited in my bank account.
Aaron followed up and wanted me to respond once I received the check and made a deposit to my bank. I told him it was in my bank and the money was on hold. Over Google Hangout, he assured me that the company had made similar purchases before and that I should place an order with the vendor.
I told him again the money was on hold with my bank. I didn’t want to use my money to buy supplies for this job. Aaron was fine with that, but he told me to keep him aware of the status of the check.
During this time, I called my bank because I wanted to find out what would happen if the check was a bad check and would bounce. The bank operator told me I would get charged $5. She said to ignore that there was money sitting in my account and just to wait. So I did that.
Aaron messaged me the following day and checked on the status of the check. I told him it was still on hold. He repeated that the company checks always went through without any issues.
Aaron wanted me to do some work with the company and said he would send a second check for a smaller amount. The second check was $2750. At this point, I was getting very skeptical. Why would he send me a second check? I was thinking he wanted me to use my own money and send the money to his vendor.
Discrepancies started to show
It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Now the scammer was starting to slip and clues showed up in his work. The first check was for $4720 from BBVA bank. This check was from a DBA in Florida. At that point, everything looked fine.
Then I became more suspicious when I look at the second check. This check was for $2750 and from Chase bank. The check was from Susan Jo Thomas in Indianapolis. To me, this was very confusing. Why would Aaron send me a completely different check and from a different bank account? I also noticed the signatures were different on both checks.
After he sent me the second check, I let the check sit in my email and ignored his messages. I was going to wait until the first check cleared before I would message him. It was only another three days before I would hear from my bank since it takes about a week for the bank to verify a check.
Then I received another text message to deposit the check. I ignored this message as well. Something was telling me this group was getting desperate and wanted to get their money.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
My bank was finally able to verify the check. The check bounced and I was charged $5. I haven’t heard from Aaron since he stopped messaging me.
I researched that this is a new scam that is starting to occur. Scammers are sending people a bad check and hoping they send money to a fake account. The money would go to the group involved in the scam.
If you get run into similar situations, be careful. There are a lot of scams out there. Scammers are out there trying to take your money from you in any way possible.
1. Don’t trust any stranger sending you money.
2. If a stranger sends you a check to deposit, expect the check to bounce.
3. When a job offer is not over the phone, Skype, or Zoom, be very careful.
4. Do your research on any company offering you a job.
Have you been scammed before?