Job Scam and Running

I want to post this job scam because I could have been a victim, but I wasn’t, but I know other people might fall for it unknowingly.  I posted a little about it the other day, I’m going to start from the top

I applied for a position on Craigslist. com for a Personal Assistant at $500.00 per week, basic office duties, making travel arrangements, appointments, schedules, expense reports, errands, your basic personal assistant duties.  I’ve actually only been my own personal assistant but was confident I could do it for someone else.

After sending my resume and cover email I received a reply from a James Mahfood of the UK he liked my email and was willing “to give it a go”, whatever that means, I have to admit I was a little excited, he had mentioned I would be working from home and wasn’t sure exactly how many hours the job would entail, I could possibly even work another job.  He also mentioned an orphanage and one of my first assignments would be to purchase items for said orphanage with money he would send me.  I could do that.  He wanted me to keep in touch and watch my email for further details.

A couple of days later another email saying I am employed, again, mentions the orphanage and how busy he is, the email is quite long, no real tasks in the email, I email him back and let him know I am anxious to get started, but in reality I’m thinking something is not right.  For one thing in the beginning of the email it said ‘Dear’ and my name was missing, not like he forgot what my name was, but like it was a copy and paste job.

On Tuesday, June 16th I received an early morning email saying I would be receiving a check from one of his clients, I was to take the check to my bank, cash it and then wire it to a Valerie Mock through Western Union, really fishy now.  They had decided it was going to be too expensive for me to buy things for the orphanage and then ship them so the orphanage was going to purchase their own items.  I was very leery at this point.

Around 9am UPS shows up and low and behold a check for 2850.00 was enclosed from Ft. Smith, Arkansas, no doubt the Alan Burns on the return address was fictional.  The cashier’s check was written on Navy Federal Credit Union, first I looked them up online, yes they do exist, next I called them.  After I gave them the account number and name they said “DO NOT CASH”.  That’s all I needed to hear.

She asked if I could fax the check over, of course I have no way to do that anymore and she told me to contact my local police department, which I did right away.  I have to say, I was very disappointed, they said this is very common and you did the right thing, no need for me to bring the check or the emails I had printed out, the end.  They weren’t even going to try and catch this person!

I had also sent an email to the Attorney General, ditto, they weren’t going to do anything either!!  I did file an extensive complaint on the FBI site and they said they have thousands of complaints, they may or may not ever get back to me.

I have told a few people about this and if you don’t know here is what would have happened, if I would have taken the check to my bank and cashed it and then later the check would have been returned, which it would have, the bank would in turn get the money from MY ACCOUNT!  The bank doesn’t verify the check is good before they cash it, they verify you can cover it!

I was thinking about my daughter and my mother specifically, I believe both of them would have fallen for this scam, no doubt, both are gullible enough to say, okay without checking it out.  This really pisses me off, I was looking for a job and there are bad, very bad people out there that will take advantage of other people just because they can and apparently this is happening so much that our police and government doesn’t have the time to do anything about it.  I just wonder how many people fall for this scam, apparently quite a few.  The Sargent at the police department asked me if I had ever been to the website, No, why would I?  I have now.

I did email my “employer” and played along for a day, asking him how much the check was for and some other vague crap, he was an idiot, couldn’t even answer my questions, just wanted to know if I had completed my task.  NO, I verified the check was no good, I have not received any other correspondence from him, surprise, surprise.

Running –  Off on Wednesday, Ran solo yesterday had some stomach issues and wondered if I would make it through the run, I did, but it was not pleasant.  Today I was looking forward to having Annette come and run with me and Tammy, but was pissed off because I have gained another pound!  WTF!!  All week I have been trying to curb my snacking, being unemployed has made me eat more for some reason.  I also had cramps, stupid monthly crap.  BUT, the run was great!  It went really fast, we ended up with a little over 5 miles, drenched from the heat and humidity, but what else do you expect for almost summer in Arkansas?

Tomorrow Tammy and I will be meeting the LR Marathon group at Pinnacle Mountain for either a 9 or 10 mile run, it will be just as hot and humid, but that is a hilly route, so it may be 9 instead of 10 miles.  I just hope the run part is as good as it was today.


8 Responses

  1. I, however, hope the run part is better than it was today for me..aside from the company, it was torture and it seemed to go on FOREVER…Maybe if I get to bed at a decent time tonight it won’t be so bad…

  2. I really enjoyed running with you guys!!! Hope I can do it again sometime soon.

  3. Hello Cheryl,

    I too responded to an identical ad and received a check for $3,850.00. drawn on Navy Federal Credit Union. When I called to check the validity of the check, they told only told me that it IS their cashier’s check so it HAS to be valid and didn’t even want to know the account number. I still knew not to cash it, but who did you contact at Navy Federal who confirmed that it was invalid? I would still like to confirm that it is bad so I can pursue it with the authorities here.

    • I see this blog about the personal assistant job is from many months ago and I am sad to say I just fell for the same thing! I caught it before any damage was done but I was thisclose!! And I am shocked with all of our technology the FBI and police have not stopped these people!! My check was drawn on Chase bank and was an actual person’s name and address on it, it was a stolen account. When I contacted the person who’s name was on the check she was less than friendly because she was aware of this and working with the police. My call was meant to be courteous but after being burned so hard it was clear she did not trust anyone, poor woman!! I am an educated, smart woman hit hard by the economy and desperate for work. I wanted to believe it was legit. I am thinking about messing with the scammer since they don’t know I have caught on yet. I am so angry that this has been going on this long. Somebody needs to stop these people from other countries scamming us job-hunting Americans!!
      By the way, I am in California, this is happening in all States!

  4. Hi Cheryl,

    I responded to that same e-mail in late August and recieved a check from moneygram worth $1,380 from “James Mahfood.” I notified the FBI where I live and they arn’t going to do anything about it. I wish someone cared enough to actually catch this guy!

    • No kidding?? I know what you mean, but apparently there are more scammers out there than they have resources to deal with them….


  5. Hi Cheryl,

    I am trying to do some reasearch on this scammer and I was wondering if you could look up his “ip” on the e-mail he sent you.


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