There is so much fraud out there it’s hard to blog solely about auto repair scams. A couple of my close friends have been looking for jobs and since I’ve been trying to help them, I’ve seen what people go though during a job hunt these days. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, it’s depressing and demoralizing. Not only do you send out 100’s of resumes that get no reply, let alone a phone call, but there are so many con artists out there, you just start to lose faith in the human race.
One of my friends, Liz, has been working out of my office, so I’ve been getting an up close and personal look at what is going on.
The first week Liz was looking she called me up in high spirits informing me she had been hired. Having just seen her, I questioned when she went on an interview and she said she hadn’t. Liz had been emailing back and forth with someone and he’d “hired” her this way without even meeting her. Huh?
I was rightly skeptical (well ok, I’m always skeptical) but this particular job involved kids and I couldn’t understand who would hire someone in this field without meeting them. When I read all the emails, there were so many red flags I couldn’t believe she hadn’t seen them but Liz was so desperate she had lost all good sense. Even though she had supplied her resume, this emailer kept asking her for her personal information to be spelled out. He just thought she was perfect for the job, but “inconveniently” he was out of state and couldn’t meet her right away (oh please). He did, however, order some packages for the kids and wanted her to pay for them on their arrival. For her to complete this task he would need her checking account so he could wire her the funds to pay for it. Yeah right, I suppose he’s a wrongfully deposed Nigerian prince too. She received a variation on this one countless times.
Then there were the series of emails that wanted her to click on some website to fill out her personal info, either because they wanted to issue her a company credit card or because they wanted her to fill out an employment application. All of these hiring her via email, sight unseen.
My first instinct is to yell “who would fall for this?”. But truth be told, Liz did. I’ve had to alert other job hunting friends to be careful and even after explaining the cons they still didn’t get how they could be “taken” and might have fallen for it as well. I guess it should be no surprise to me that there are scams in every facet of our society but it still irritates me each time I run into them.
Morale of this story: If by the 2nd email someone hasn’t made an appointment to meet with you, move on. (I’ve heard you should use the same rule in online dating as well).