- Pamela Cosel
Scammers -- How do we stop them?
In recent weeks, I've been the "attempted" victim of three different scams...one that occurred just today -- and it makes me angry. Stupid criminals, get out of my way!
First, I am astonished at how unintelligent these criminals think we are...or I suppose, I am. Because I'm not. I am an educated, wise, intelligent woman -- not some 20-year-old who doesn't yet have life knowledge. I've been around for a few decades, and as a former journalist, I also know how to research people or situations. With the internet, it's pretty easy to track someone down these days.
Second, that being said, here's what happened: Yesterday I received a text on my cell phone which read, "Hello, my name is Bruce, got your contact off Indeed. I'm in search of a personal assistant. Please confirm your availability ASAP on email@example.com (perhaps I shouldn't put the email address, but remember, I'm now pretty convinced this is a scam). As a freelancer who works from home, I replied that I might be interested, need more info, and would only consider a part-time, work-from-home situation. I didn't think anymore about it. Until today...
I next received an email from the man who says he is "Dr. Bruce Mulder," and is a New Business Development Manager at Roche. He explains at length what the job is, that he is out of the country, tells me all about Roche and its cancer research, and says I'll be paid $500 a week for part-time, work-from-home duties, paid weekly, with health benefits, too. What starts to look fishy is that in one part of the email, he talks about full-time work, but tells me I'll be working part-time. Also, the "I" words are all typed in lower case. Unusual for a "doctor."
So something doesn't feel right. I next go to LinkedIn and look up Bruce Mulder. There are four men with that name and none of them work for Roche. I grew more suspicious by the minute. I looked up Roche, and there are nearly 94,000 employees -- impossible to search for a Dr. Mulder. I also attempted an online search, and found there is a dentist in New Jersey with that name. Doesn't seem to match the email that I received, and why would a dentist in NJ want to hire me, in Texas?
Point being: What is wrong with our world today? Are people so desperate and ignorant? And how did he choose my phone number to select me as a potential victim?
I haven't yet explained the other two scams, but will say one involved a fake freelance writing job posted on Freelanced.com from a guy who said he was hiring me to write three articles...and then sent a check to me for three times the amount of what we agreed on for a fee...and "oh, my secretary made the check out for the wrong amount...just deposit it and send me back the difference." Right, buddy, I'll be sure to do that. Instead, I reported him to the FTC and Freelanced.com, who banned him from the site.
I don't at all mean to badmouth anyone with the name of Bruce Mulder...but they should all know someone is misrepresenting them. I can't wait to see what email I'll receive tomorrow since I said I'd like to talk more about the personal assistant / part-time / work-from-home opportunity. That is -- until I started doing my research and smelled a rat...as they say. Stay tuned for more as this unfolds!