I've been unemployed for a while now, so when I got a text on my phone telling me that my resume had been reviewed, and that they wanted to interview me on Google Hangouts, I didn't see anything wrong.
The details were, work at home customer service, 5 days of training at 8 hours a day for $12 an hour, then bumping me to $30 an hour for 8 hour days. In addition, they would be sending me a check (Red flag 1) to cover the setup of my home office, to include an HP Envy laptop, 3 in 1 printer, cell phone (which they would pay the monthly bill for) and software. When I said that I had all that equipment, I was told for warranty purposes, I needed to use their
approved vendor in case something happened and work needed to be done. (Red flag 2). The company name they used was
Magnum Medical out of Latvia.
Attempting due diligence, I Googled
Magnum Medical and found their location in Latvia, in addition to a couple of locations in America, per websites. I then checked them on Glassdoor.com, and again, there was a page for them, but no real information. (Red flag 3)
So, they're supposed to FedEx me a check overnight. I was given the tracking number, and as it turned out, the package was being held at FedEx initially due to
incorrect address, which was changed to
irregularities on the account by FedEx.
As I'm explaining this to the
supervisor, he tells me that while I'm waiting on the check, I need to go to the store and buy 2 $100 I-Tunes cards, so I can provide them with the serial numbers on the cards in order to
unlock their proprietary software. (Red flag 4).
This was what ultimately confirmed the scam for me. I reported the issue to Apple, who confirmed it was a scam, and then I reported it to IC3, the FTC and the FBI.
Well, the check arrived today, and conveniently enough was drawn on an out of state bank - i.e. one with no branch offices in my state (Georgia). So I called their customer service line and was informed in no uncertain terms that the cashier's check was a fake.
Then they tried to contact me on Google Hangouts again, asking me if I'd received the check and to confirm the amount ($3650) and when I was going to deposit it.
I informed them that Comerica had verified that the check was fraudulent, at which point they attempted to deny that, and I shut them down with
look, we both know you're trying to run a scam. This entire conversation from the beginning has been recorded and sent to the FTC, IC3 and the FBI.
So, long story short, if someone gives you a job offer online, then offers to send you a check for
required office equipment that you are to buy only from their
approved vendor, don't bother. This is a variation on the
overpay check scam, and if you deposit the
cashier's check you will be asked to wire a large portion of it to their
vendor, only to find that you'll have an empty bank account and possible criminal charges instead of the equipment you thought you'd ordered for a job that doesn't exist.
So please please be careful.