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A friend of mine on the east coast has just graduated from college and had resumes listed online in a search for a job hunt. His plan is to move to the west coast and he has been looking for work in that area. Following a couple of online interviews, he was offered a job beginning immediately in California with an "IT consulting" outfit that was "opening an office" in Calif.
They have a wonky web page and have been communicating by phone and email. They agreed to send him an employment contract and a signing bonus of several thousand dollars. He received the money and deposited it in his bank account. He did not receive any contract.
The bank encountered some delays in getting the check to clear. In the meantime, he received a phone call asking him to withdraw the funds as cash, which he refused to do because the check had not yet cleared. He immediately notified the bank of this request and sought legal advice. Both he, the advisor, the bank and I view this to be an almost certain scam.
We were all set to let these guys twist in the wind for a while when I learned yesterday that the check cleared. He will ask the bank for instructions on how to handle this development and what the timelines and protocols are for stop payments, as this still looks like a scam. Problem is, he could withdraw the entire thing today and have cash in hand, which does not seem to follow the typical path.
He knows not to touch the funds for the present and he has not shared ss or banking information other than as will appear on the cancelled check. He also has little or nothing in the account.
The plan at present is to withdraw all funds other than the "signing bonus" from the account and ask the bank to place a freeze on it. In the meantime he will open a different account for daily use.
We're waiting for the next shoe to drop, but I am uneasy that there's something else happening that we haven't thought of. Any ideas or suggestions? Thx!
edit: The web page IP is a godaddy address that tracks to Scottsdale Az as most other godaddy pages track. The address changed from a .org to a .com as of yesterday. The web page itself appears to have been intended for use in Nigeria and includes "local" phone and location information. It is slick and full of puff text, with some poor usage. The phone number tracks to an Edmonton Alberta area code, but could be anywhere. One other domain is connected with the IP that appears to be a .fr address. That's all I've been able to find out.
B8er Associate Boomdazzler
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Location: Offering group hugs in the forum safe space
Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:01 pm
The check may have cleared, but that does not mean that it is legitimate. It could be fake or stolen and drawn on an account that is rarely checked. When the fraudulent payment is noticed, it will be reversed and your friend will be liable for the repayment plus any bank charges. he could also be reported for passing bad checks.
I would recommend going to our sister site scamwarners.com and posting full details of the website and any email addresses. The experts there will be able to tell you if it is a scam.
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