Beware: Fake job offer + fake checks
Thread poster: FIROOZEH FARHANG

FIROOZEH FARHANG
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Dec 4, 2017

Hi All,

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a person/company through Proz. The person was asking whether I was interested in a task that he clearly explained in his email.
The email was signed "Gregory Hopkins" from "doubledown-productions" and the email address was "jj@double-down-productions.com" and on the footer there was the following information:
This message was sent to you via the ProZ.com directory.
Sender: jjdoubledown
Sender's profile: http://proz.com/profile/2442737
Sender's IP address: 212.83.149.171

The company exists and is located in the US. So I answered the questions and said that I was available for the job.
Later on, it started to get weird:
--------------------------------------------------------
JOB SUMMARY:

The sole aim of this job is to evaluate the services of Tabac Shops in your area.
We have received a lot of reports about their poor services.
Hence I will give you a detailed job description in key points.
1. You are to locate a Tabac Shop you intend to evaluate.
2. A cheque would be sent to you to enable you have funds that would enable you make purchases from the Tabac Shop you intend to evaluate.
3. You deposit the cheque into your account.
4. You deduct your wage of 300Eur
5. You purchase PCS Mastercard vouchers worth 1600.

Not: During the purchase process, you observe key things that would be sent to you inform of a questionnaire via email/post to enable you give us a detailed feed back of the whole process.
6. After the purchase, you fill out the questionnaire and give a general comment about the whole process.
The reports would be based on how true/false the complaints of these worried customers.
Hence your duties would be to go to a Tabac Shop in your locality as a customer.
You do not require any experience in this field as detailed guidelines
would be given to you to ensure a successful completion.
-----------------------------------------------------------

At this point I had already given my phone (also in my proz profile) and my address.

I then received an email saying that the check was sent and for me to confirm having received the email and the check. I did not answer (and did not receive the check).
Then there came an SMS displaying 38046 as the sender's number but signed +17172811865. The person was asking whether I had received the email + the check.

I checked online and this number is not the number of doubledown-productions.
Also .. I looked up the IP locator and the IP was in France + the proz profile of the job sender no longer exists.
I then looked up the number that had signed the SMS and this is what I found:
https://www.whoisthatnumber.com/phonenumber/717-281-1865

Another person has declared:
This number is associated with fraud .I have had messages from the number previously which was in connection with scam. Offered a fake job and attempted to pay with a fake travellers cheque.

*********************************************
I just wanted to share this with you guys know as we never know how these kind of things end ...

Have a nice week ahead,
Firoozeh


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Surely interesting Dec 4, 2017

It makes for interesting leisure reading.



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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:35
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Seriously? Dec 6, 2017

Seriously.

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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:35
English to Czech
+ ...
The text has been recycled since ages Dec 6, 2017

The text rang a bell so I googled this part: "lot of reports about their poor services" (in quotes) and got 10 results from reports of this scam ("mystery shopper") on other websites, including Proz.
Very old trick.


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christinaheflin
France
Local time: 01:35
French to English
Same Dec 13, 2017

I just received a similar message from him. It didn't mention that I had to buy them outright, though, which would set off alarms for me immediately. Thanks for giving us the heads up!

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joowon
Philippines
Local time: 07:35
English
717-281-1865 Dec 30, 2017

I received a scam call from this number 717-281-1865.
I wonder if they are the same person. But since they are the same number, it is safe to assume that they are.


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Thomas Amann
France
Local time: 01:35
French to English
+ ...
Hope is not too late Jan 9

Hey guys I just had the same job opportunity and I did received the check worth 1900€.

After further search I found out :

Don’t Wire Money
You may have heard about people who are “hired” to be mystery shoppers, and told that their first assignment is to evaluate a money transfer service, like Western Union or MoneyGram. The shopper receives a check with instructions to deposit it in a personal bank account, withdraw the amount in cash, and wire it to a third party. The check is a fake.

By law, banks must make the funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. It may seem that the check has cleared and that the money has posted to the account, but when the check turns out to be a fake, the person who deposited the check and wired the money will be responsible for paying back the bank.

It’s never a good idea to deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then wire money back.

So this is kind of elaborated scams here


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