Text-Only Job Interviews with Fake Businesses!
[Published 9/8/21] Since February, 2018 we have informed the public about a type of “advance check” scam that is disguised as a “job interview” conducted entirely through texting. Scammers, primarily from African countries (but mostly Nigeria), pretend to be Human Resource staff from REAL companies. They “hire” people and create a reason to send the soon-to-be-victim a check for several thousand dollars. The victim is told to deposit the check, keep a small amount for initial wages, and use a large portion to purchase necessary supplies from the company vendors, such as a laptop and software. Of course, the “vendors” are the scammers and the money, once transferred, is irretrievable. The check bounces in several days and the victim has been, well…. victimized. (You can read MANY stories told to us by victims, and see bogus contact information from more than 200 companies in our article called “Job Interviews Using Google Hangouts.”)
Now there is an entirely new variation of this scam that was brought to our attention in July, 2021. Cybercriminals are now creating completely NEW businesses that are fake and continuing to use text-only interview tools to “hire” their next victim. It is very easy to see through the charade created by the scammers for these businesses and we’ll show you how. Here are the first few examples we learned about.
ATHENICS CONTRACTORS (Athenicscons.com)
On September 8, 2021, a woman received the following email, inviting her to interview for a job with Athenics Contractors….
FROM: Atam Sandhu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good Day, We have reviewed your resume and we would like to invite you to interview for the Remote – Data Entry Clerk / Administrative Assistant Job interview, We think you might be a great fit for the position. This company offers medical and dental insurance, long-term disability, sick leave, life insurance, 401K, and profit sharing are available. This position is paying $27.95 Per hour plus incentives.
We would like to schedule an interview with you right now if possible. You are required to set up a Gmail account for the job briefing and interview, download a Gmail hangout/google talk messenger to your PC or Phone.. Please Invite Mrs Donna Neal, the Research & Recruitment Manager for Athenics Contractors . on Gmail Hangout or Google talk messenger ( Donna@athenicscons.com ) and message her for the Job Interview. This is our first step to proceed further. She will be expecting to hear from you soon.
INTERVIEW TIME : IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE THIS EMAIL
Your verification code is (ACLJOBS-01).
A timely response is appreciated.
We look forward to meeting you, Kimberly.
Notice that the woman was invited to contact Mrs Donna Neal, the Research & Recruitment Manager for Athenics Contractors on Gmail Hangout or Google talk messenger ( Donna@athenicscons.com ), rather than a video call or even a telephone call!
MADILL CONSTRUCTION (MadillConstruction.com)
On July 20, 2021 a woman contacted us to say that she had received an invitation to interview for a “remote data entry” job with Madill Construction from somone named “Limda Roundy” through Indeed.com. The interview was through the text app Google Hangouts with “Julia McKenzie” –the Research and Recruitment Manager for Madill Construction. Ms. McKenzie’s email was given as email@example.com.
A visit to MadillConstruction.com shows a fairly robust website. They claim to have been in business for 14 years, starting in 2007. And yet, their domain didn’t exist until 8 days ago on July 12, 2021! Also, they stole the content on their website from a business called Hensel Phelps. These scammers even forgot to change the Hensel Phelps name from the text they copied!
A simple WHOIS lookup of the domain madillconstruction.com shows that it was JUST registered days ago. It didn’t take long for these scammers to post “remote data entry” job openings at lots of websites including Indeed.com. Don’t be fooled! This is another “advance check” scam!
ADAPTHHEALTHCARE.com and CLARIFYHEALTHS.com
Don’t confuse these malicious mimics for the REAL and LEGITIMATE domains they are pretending to be! There is a real health care service called AdaptHealth.com and ClarifyHealth.com. The mimics have slightly changed the names, recently registered their FAKE domains — Adapthhealthcare.com and Clarifyhealths.com — and are now posting job scams! On July 14, 2021 a woman contacted us to say that she received 2 nearly identical emails one hour apart, inviting her to apply for a job with these health care companies. However, the emails used the FAKE, newly registered domain names!
The domains adapthhealthcare.com and clarifyhealths.com, were registered just a few days earlier and as of July 21, have no website located at their domain. If you try to use Google to search for these new FAKE domains, Google can’t find them but asks if you mean the REAL domains with similar spelling…