(UPDATED BELOW 2/24/19) We have been seeing an increasingly sophisticated number of job scams. Some have been around for years while others are new and involve more sophisticated effort by the criminals who create these scams. We’ll begin with a woman named Mary who contacted us about a suspicious job offer she received after posting her resume on CareerBuilder.com. The job was for a position as “Superior of Procurement” for a company called GetYourGoods[.]info. Mary received the following response from hr “@” getyourgoods[.]info a few days after sending them an initial email:
We couldn’t help but notice the subject line in the email that Mary received from the HR Department at GetYourGoods[.]info. This is not information she had seen before and it didn’t make much sense to her. A search of “laluprasadsah” only turns up links about men from India such as a comedian, and a man with a twitter account containing just one tweet. The HR Department had sent Mary the attached 2 page pdf file about a job as a “Supply Chain Assistant.” It was described as a home based, part time, online office job that paid $30/hour “plus bonuses for every processed package on a monthly schedule.” If you read the two pages about this job description, you’ll see that it uses a lot of language but actually says very little. It also sets the bar for important skills very low. By our reckoning, the job description from this company requires the skills of a typical fifth grader! Here is a sample of the skills required…
- Ability to read and comprehend simple instructions
- Ability to write simple correspondence
- Ability to add and subtract two digit numbers and to multiply and divide with 10’s and 100’s
Our favorite required skill for the job is…
- Ability to apply commonsense understanding to carry out detailed but uninvolved written or oral instructions
We invite our readers to email us with their interpretation of “detailed but uninvolved!”
After Mary sent us this information, we couldn’t wait to apply and so we clicked the link to getyourgoods[.]info/careers and this is what we found for their application process:
- An “Online Hiring Center” that asks us for limited personal information such as name, address, phone number, and email.
- This was followed by fields for prior work experience.
Followed by a request for three personal references
What followed these fields completely surprised us. It is the most extreme example of interacting with a scam victim… errr, we mean job candidate, without actually speaking to him or her in the Interview process. GetYourGoods[.]info presented us with a series of YouTube Channel interview questions! We were asked to click 20 videos, listen to the question in each and enter our response in the field under the video! The two presenters in these videos both had British accents. We unearthed the source of these videos on YouTube and learned that they were all uploaded to a YouTube Channel called “Job Interview System” in November, 2015. This Channel is unlisted on YouTube, has only 18 subscribers as of October 8, 2018, and no other content.
Here are the questions asked in the first ten videos, plus a link to them on YouTube. HOWEVER, we cannot open these YouTube links from our website since they are embedded commands. If you want to see the videos, please copy the link and paste it in a new browser window:
- How would you describe yourself in 3 words. (https://www.youtube.com/embed/0wcEAK5zJuM)
- If I were to meet your current colleagues, how would they describe you? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/9v8nrsV3b4U)
- We’ve had a lot of people apply for this position. What can you offer that they can’t? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/AiawgXiPTuk)
- Do you know what your key skills are? What’s your biggest strength? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/lff1MK_ESaI)
- Everyone has areas where they need improvement. What’s your biggest weakness? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/q0K0AvPogOY)
- How would you rate your suitability for this role on a scale of 1 to 10? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/z1axAw9pMXE)
- Do you have any competition for your services? What other interviews have you been to? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsYeUR_7e_s)
- To help us work out a suitable salary for you, can you tell us you’re earning in your current job? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/o1pXYDdvjiM)
- If we were to offer you the job, what would your salary expectations be? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/4nA2nOrRq8I)
- Have you done any research into our company? What did you learn about us? (https://www.youtube.com/embed/0xHVL325enI)
We filled in the response fields with our thoughtful and detailed responses…
Finally, after responding to all twenty interview questions for our personal and thorough “job interview” we were told by the website that our application was complete!
At that point we were redirected to the GetYourGoods[.]info website where we could look for more information about this innovative international company for international shoppers. But who is GetYourGoods[.]info and what do we know about them, besides the fact that they don’t want to see or speak to the people who apply for their jobs?
- GetYourGoods[.]info is a domain that was registered on July 20, 2018 (just a couple of months before it came to our attention) by someone identified as “Ernest Wylie” from Florida. Despite checking multiple WHOIS registries, there is no email address, no physical address listed, or other company information for this registrant. Just a name and state.
- We used Spokeo.com to locate anyone with the name “Ernest Wylie” in the state of Florida and found only one option, though with a different first name, and with Ernest as his middle name. We called and spoke to Mr. Wylie on October 9 and he informed us that he did not register the website, has no knowledge of it, or connection to it at all.
- The address listed on the Contacts page of GetYourGoods[.]info is 222 W 37th Street 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018. We conducted a Google search for that address and could not find any business by that name on any floor of that building. We called “Sea & Air, International,” a business on the 3rd floor of this building. The gentleman we spoke to said that he has never heard of GetYourGoods[.]info but also told us that companies “come and go” at that building like a “revolving door.”
- We used several online tools to conduct a search for any business in New York called GetYourGoods[.]info, GetYourGoodsand Get Your Goods. These tools included the Better Business Bureau, New York Department of State, and New York Biz List. All search results came back negative. No such business could be found.
Though the GetYourGoods[.]info website is quite extensive, we couldn’t verify anything from it, except the email Mary received from the HR Department several days earlier. Businesses are generally in the business of providing a service and generating income and jobs for employees and company owners. This usually means that the business tries to promote itself, and make itself known through advertising or social media. And yet, we couldn’t find anything about GetYourGoods[.]info EXCEPT their website! No reviews, no list of clients, no references except for a few quotes that scroll on one of their web pages. Here are two we particularly enjoyed….
We noticed the attractive photo on the top page of their website showing a young man in orange and red, against the red van in the background. After conducting a web image search for that picture through Google, we found that image was a stock photo that has been used on several delivery websites in India and the UK including:
https://nextgenlogi.com/ (Use left/right scroll arrows to locate the image)
Pushpak Courier Service listed on the website JustDial.com
The point here is that this graphic seems to be used by many delivery services outside the United States. The images and professional looking website don’t mean this job is legitimate or legal.
So what could be going on with this “company” that might put people at risk? According to several good sources, a common scam that has been around for years concerns criminals who trick everyday people into receiving stolen merchandise, or merchandise purchased with stolen credit card information. These innocent people then re-package the merchandise as a part of their “job” and ship it to the criminals overseas! People can get into serious trouble for this scam. As you can guess, it is called the “Package Shipping” scam. Caveat Emptor! Here are two articles that describe this type of scam well:
Watch Out for the Package Shipping Scam (RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com)
Money Laundering and Reshipping Scams (Monster.com)
By the way, we finally heard back from GetYourGoods and guess what? THEY HIRED US! We’re so excited and can’t wait to go to work for them. Here’s the contract offer they sent us…
Over the years, we’ve heard from many people who have posted their resumes online with sites like CareerBuilder.com and ZipRecruiter.com. Scammers target them with fake jobs that are often sophisticated “Advance Check” scams. In late summer of 2018, one woman contacted us to say that a job scam we had identified in our article “Job Interviews in Google Hangouts” (Look at job posting #26 at the bottom of the page) was also posting fake jobs on a website in Ohio called OhioMeansJobs.com (Powered by Monster.com). [We don’t mean to imply that either OhioMeansJobs.com or Monster.com are complicit in these scams. They are being defrauded as well.]
Take a look at this first scam job that appears to be posted by the very real company called “Star Consultants.” If “Marilyn Jones” of Star Consultants is looking to interview people for the position of Office Manager/Administrative Assistant, then why did she list her email address as coordinator “@” amerirootbergen[.]org instead of @starconsultants.org?
Star Consultants is a long established firm and easily verifiable. However, who is Amerirootbergen[.]org? The domain Amerirootbergen[.]org was registered on August 8, 2018, just 4 days before this job was posted. It was registered through a private proxy service and is being hosted in Amsterdam, Holland, though no website can be found for it. Google knows nothing about it.
Here are three more scam jobs posted on OhioMeansJobs by the same criminals. They all ask that interested candidates contact someone at Amerirootbergen[.]org. And they were all posted on the same day in August, just four days after the scam domain was registered. None of these represent the real companies or organizations listed on the job posting:
No article about job scams would be complete without some mention of the “Mystery Shopper” scam job! We’ve written about it many times, but like a “bad penny,” it always turns up. Most recently, it turned up in our inbox! (Notice the “reply-to” address in this email. It is for “krogre.com” not kroger.com.
The link for “Join Us” pointed to a hacked website in Belgium called VRGroup.be. This Belgium company is an international drink importer! Fortunately, they quickly discovered the misuse of their website and removed the offending pages. At the end of 2018, these scammers tried this trick again. This time the “reply-to” address will send your email to Korger[.]com! Korger[.]com was registered in the Cayman Islands and is hosted on a server in Germany last time we checked.
The fake Kroger Job scammers are still at it. Notice how they have misspelled the word “jobs” in the reply-to portion of the email. The link to apply points to the hacked website called CoachingByRich[.]com…
Also, be very skeptical if you receive random emails like this one that came from a server in France (2-letter country code = “.fr” but you are asked to reply to a different address. And they didn’t even list the country!
Over the years we’ve written about many job scams of many kinds. Here are links to some of these scams. Enjoy!
Do you think you know about a job scam? Let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org