It’s not bad enough that millions of qualified men and women in this country can’t get a job.
It’s not bad enough that, in Pennsylvania, you have to hire a lawyer to arm wrestle with the minions at the unemployment office to get back some of that money that we have paid into the fund over all the years we have worked — 50 in my case.
Now, unemployed people who are seriously looking for jobs are being scammed, big time.
My first encounter with a scammer came when I answered a Craigslist ad for an Administrative Assistant at a busy doctor’s office. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from someone named David Marks that said, “Your resume was received and it has been reviewed, I did appreciate it. So I will give this a GO.”
But…he needed a bit more information like my first, middle and last names, my street address including city, state and zip, my cell and home phone numbers, my current occupation and my email address.
Hmmmm….if he had really reviewed my resume, wouldn’t he already know all of this information? First hint that something was just not right.
Then Mr. Marks described how this would work:
- He wasn’t in town often so we would only communicate via email.
- He didn’t really have an office so I would be working from home.
- He would pay me $785 a week for a part time job.
- Work would include doing personal chores, scheduling flights and making, “…regular contacts and drop offs on my behalf.”
Sounds just a bit off – $785 a week for a part time job working for a man I will never meet and making contacts and dropping off…what…on his behalf. Second hint that this was not a kosher offer.
The final hint that Mr. Marks was a rat-scammer was this incredibly transparent paragraph:
“What i would want you to do for me this week is to run some errands out to some of the orphanage home, I do that every month. A payment in form of a Cashier Check/Money Order will be sent over to you from one of my clients and i have some lists to email you once you received the funds,You will make some arrangements by buying some stuff for the kids in the Orphanage at any nearest store around you so you can mail them out.”
Really? I don’t know you, have never met you, work out of my home because you don’t have an office and I’m supposed to …run money for you? Of course, throwing in the orphanage was a nice touch but hello…Mr. Marks…I may want a job but I am not really desperate or stupid.
Today, a more sophisticated scammer than Mr. Marks (hard to imagine, isn’t it?) sent me an email from an Human Resources department for a company that does exist – LDR Distributions – saying they had , “…reviewed your resume and you’re a great match for this position.” I was to go online and make a formal application.
Great, exciting but…one immediate problem. When I tried to apply using the link in the email, I kept getting a pop up asking me to fill in an “anti-spam” survey and offering me a chance at gift cards ranging from $100 from the Cheesecake Factory to $1000 from Kohls. The hair on the back of my neck started rising.
The other problem with this fairly professional attempt to skim my personal information is the type of business LDR is. This company is a warehouse and distribution company. I am a 64 year old woman recovering from shoulder surgery. Would I really apply for a job with them? Not! And, because I keep a copy of every ad I answer along with my submission, I was able to prove to myself that I had not fallen, hit my head and applied for the privilege of packing, toting and shipping large packages.
Tips for would be job seekers:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is! Like getting a part time gig that lets me work from home and get paid $785 a week.
- DO NOT include any contact information at all when responding to a blind ad on Craigslist or any other job board unless you know for sure they are a legitimate business engaged in matching employees and employers like Monster or Career Builder.
- GOOGLE names, businesses, even job titles and include the word “scam” in the search. You will quickly discover you are not alone. There are a lot of people being scammed by some truly low people out there trying to make money off our misfortune.
And keep the faith. Somewhere out there, there is a job for each and every one of us that truly wants to work.