Scams

Giftcard Scam: Writers and Editors Beware!

ScammedThis is an elaborate scam that almost got me and I’m pretty smart, so I am warning you to beware. The invitation to a job interview came from Brookfield Communities, an award-winning homebuilding company. After going through a text interview (who does that?), I was hired within four minutes. I’m impressive, but I’m not that impressive. I told my potential employers that I would take a day to consider their offer. At that point, they didn’t seem impressed.

I did consider it. They offered a decent salary and the opportunity to work from home or wherever I may be. But they were in a huge hurry. It was a proofreader they wanted, not a paramedic to staunch life-threatening blood loss. I didn’t understand the push, the rush. I do now.

At about noon today, I said I’d accept their offer. Who doesn’t want to work from home and get paid in USD? Still, I feel like an idiot. I signed and emailed back their very detailed acceptance letter. The Brookfield Communites logo/letterhead was quite pixelated on this document, and I did wonder about that.

They said they get my laptop right out to me, but that I’d need to purchase a $200 ITunes giftcard first, take a clear photo of it, and send it to them. My dreams of having an online editing career sunk like a rock.

I called the nice lady working the desk at the real Brookfield Communities in Phoenix, AZ. She confirmed that this is a scam about which Brookfield receives a call every once in a while. Fortunately, the scammers got nothing from me except my time and a big old slice of pride.

On Google Hangouts, I replied to ‘Ashley Connor’, “You are a scammer. I’ll let others know.” That’s what I’m doing now. Please don’t hesitate to share this story with your contacts in the writing and publishing fields.

Here’s the email I received. In it, I’ve placed in red text the obvious things I should have spotted. Maybe my experience can save you a little hassle down the road.

~ Lori

Your profile on (EDITORS CANADA) has been reviewed by the HR Department at (BROOKFIELD COMMUNITIES) and we are pleased to invite you to an online interview/briefing exercise.

Company: Brookfield Communities

Position: Proofreading

Job type:  Contract based, Part-time, Full-time
Wage: $3,600 per month/$49,000 per annum.
Your salary package may include commissions and bonuses.
These numbers are a guide.
1099-K structure.
Work Location: Remote
Interview Scheduled: Online

Time: Asap

Venue: Online Via Google Hangouts Hangouts? Seriously. I fell for that.

Training is Available Typos like this capital A are throughout the letter.

JOB DUTIES: This all-caps format is inconsistent. Heck, the whole document is inconsistent. 

Responsible for detecting and correcting errors in written documents.

Checking written text for misspellings and inaccuracies prior to publishing.

Detect and highlight typographical or grammatical error. Just one?

Make copies of proofs which are given to editors, authors, and others for revision.

Verifying accuracy of page numbers, headings, and captions, as well as consistency of spelling and grammar.

Report and present articles to Chief Editor for approval, and also analyze documents for consistency in capitalization, hyphenation, and formatting.

The qualities you need to succeed in this job include attention to details, teamwork, computer skills, grammar and spelling skills.

Training:
You’ll go through a thorough, comprehensive, two weeks training online two-week online training program. The candidate will be getting a career, not a stepping stone. Aw. I was really hoping to get a stepping stone. This is an amazing opportunity for the right individual who will get all the necessary guidance and training to have a far-reaching career.

If you are interested please contact Ms. Ashley Connor (Hiring Manager) of Brookfield Communities, she would conduct an online interview with you. And she did within 15 minutes of me contacting her. Once again, I’m not a paramedic…

Google hangout Hangouts will be used for the purpose of the interview. To contact her, Use your Gmail ID to set up a screen name with Google hangout www.hangouts.google.com or download the app from your play store. Add up the Company Hiring Manager’s hangouts screen name (ashleyconnor321@gmail.com) and instant message her to fix a date/time for an online interview and job details.

Your verification code is PRBC – 0519N. This would serve as your identification number throughout the on-line hiring process. This is an online work from home and working hours are flexible.

Your swift and timely response matters a lot as this is an immediate hire position…And again, not a lifesaving paramedic… We look forward to having you on the team. And to your quick purchase of an ITunes giftcard.

Best regards

Human Resource Just one?

www.brookfieldcommunities.com  This is an actual website and they are nice people.

© 2019 Brookfield Communities

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7 replies »

  1. I play Words With Friends. I recognise when certain male players who want to interact with me are scammers. Doesn’t matter my age, married, etc., etc. They want to get to know me better. They want me to chat with them in places like hangout. I refuse to go to these chat places. They quit playing with me immediately. I hadn’t heard of hangout being with Google. Scammers are everywhere. Thanks for posting this as it gave me info that I can keep for future use.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lori.

    Thank you for this post. I, too, received a notice from this company (through my PWAC profile) which, while somewhat different, offered the same rate for freelance writing.

    I noticed some syntactical peculiarities in the email, but I WAS going to follow up. You’ve saved me some time, and for that, I’m appreciative.

    Have a wonderful rest of your day.

    Randy Andrejciw
    Hamilton, Ontario

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More on the gift card angle in this Wired article: https://www.wired.com/story/email-scammers-gift-cards-nonprofits/

    >… If scammers can convince victims to buy gift cards—and send them photos of the physical cards or screenshots of the digital codes—they don’t need to rely on middlemen to receive wire transfers and initiate the process of laundering money. Instead, they can use online marketplaces to buy cryptocurrency with the gift cards. Agari observed that Scarlet Widow particularly uses the US peer-to-peer marketplace Paxful to buy bitcoin with gift cards. Then they move the bitcoin from a Paxful wallet to a wallet on the cryptocurrency platform Remitano, where they can resell it with a bank transfer….

    Like

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