Recently I received an invitation to a job application on Odesk. (shown below)
Sometimes its hard to tell if you are dealing with a spammer or scammer. Heres a great definition to explain scam
A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle. By “fraudulent”, we include misleading, misdirected or exaggerated claims in advertising.
1. A vague job description
Below the job description was her email address. Next to the email address it said if you would like more details please just email me.
2. They ask you to work outside of Odesk.
When I sent her an email asking for more details I received a very convincing reply:
How are you doing today, Hope fine? there are no problems with location… your job will be based on your location.
Detailed Job Description:
My Name is Linda Smith… I am 65 years old, married with 4 children. I am a relatively successful entrepreneur and huge investor in the real estate market, which tends to be my main source of income. I am looking for a trustworthy and reliable individual who works well and understand orders.
I have been a financial planner for over 25 years now and am also a private research journalist. I travel often within and outside of STATE working on various independent projects. This is why I need someone who can help keep me up to date with all of my activities, especially while I am away and amidst my busy schedule. My previous personal assistant is currently unavailable for health reasons and I am keen on finding an efficient, motivated, organized individual who can communicate well and is able to multi-task under pressure.
This position is home-based and flexible. Working for me is a test of following instructions. As my Personal Assistant, your activities among others will include:
· Creating orders, pick slips, invoices, and credit memos
· Running personal errands
· Scheduling programs, flights, and meetings and keeping me up to date with them
· Acting as an alternative phone correspondent while I am away
· Making regular contacts and drop-offs on my behalf
· Handling and monitoring some of my financial activities
· Basic wage is $400 weekly
I am sure you understand how busy my schedule is on a daily basis. Currently, I am in Europe meeting with partners. I will be back in three weeks to arrange a formal interview with you. I think you are the right person for this position. Please note that this position is not office-based for now because of my frequent travels and tight schedules. It is a part-time job, and some weeks you will be busier than others, though pay stays constant. Like I said, I think you are the right person for this job, and think we should get a head start this week. I have a lot of work piled up that I will need help catching up on immediately. I would like to use this coming week to test your efficiency and diligence, and to work your schedule around mine. I am hard of hearing and usually stay in touch through email, I am glad you responded to my ad in such a timely manner and look forward to working with you and promise to be a good boss.
A payment inform of a Certified Check 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 then mail them out. I will get you more information on that, I will like you to get back to me with your Contact Details such as
City, State and Post Code:
Home & Cell Phone(s):
Occupation (if any):
Once you respond and I receive your contact information, I will let you know necessary information on what to do. I look forward to working with you.
3. Does this job really fit me?
When I started reading what the job requirements were I realized that none of this really fit me at all. She also made it sound like she really looked at my profile and thought it fit the job, but it really didn’t.
4. Why is it asking for my contact information?
If we haven’t started working why is she already asking for my contact info? This is a clear sign of spam.
5. They want to get started right away.
Why the rush? Some jobs yes its understandable to get started right away but when all of these other factors pile in it begins to get a little suspicious
6. A very Generic name.
How many Linda Smiths are there? Ya a lot.
7. Are they persistent?
I emailed her back telling her I wasn’t right for the job and that I wouldn’t have enough time on my schedule anyway then she replied,
Hi Corbin,Its good to hear from you, I can understand your schedules, This position am offering is very easy, you dont need any skill or experience to complete the task given, you are only working 2-3 hours per week and getting paid $400 for purchasing specified items for kids and shipping to the orphanage home which i will instruct later.Fill the details requested to Apply.Kind Regards
8. Asking for charity.
9. A little to good to be true.
10.Take a direct paragraph or sentence and see if it shows up on Google.
I copied the first paragraph of the email and put it into Google and sure enough, word for word, it was there. I also saw that many others had gotten the same email from the same spammer. I also saw one of the people got a check for $420 and the check was a fake.