craigslist scam, Y/N?

My job search was on hold for a while. See, I answered a boatload of craigslist ads my second week after moving down here, and did not receive so much as one. single. answer. I started to suspect that was because my parents did not have any version of Word installed on their computer, forcing me to send out my resumé in WordPerfect. Which is basically the online equivalent of handing someone a resumé written in crayon.

So after 6 weeks of cajoling and conniving, I succeeded in getting them to reformat the hard drive and add more memory, then purchased Office and installed it. (What the hell is OneNote, anyway?) And the search began anew a week ago. And I have at least gotten a few nibbles, although one reeks of scamola. Here is a timeline of events:

1. I answered an ad for an “administrative assistant” (standard office monkey type job) on Friday afternoon.

2. An alleged photographer looking for a personal assistant emails me back Friday evening and asks for references; says he’s out of the country a lot and probably won’t be able to meet me face-to-face for a while (GIANT RED FLAG #1). Mentions that he has some things I “can assist him with” this week (GIANT RED FLAG #2).

3. I email back my references and answering some other questions he has (nothing like what’s my SSN and mother’s maiden name or anything), tell him I am ready and eager to start employment, but will not be able to asisst him in his work until I have a written employment agreement.

4. Google confirms this guy is who he says he is. Or at least there is a photographer named Michael Ray; I suppose the guy posting the ad and emailing me could be any swinging dick.

5. Early this morning he emails me back, saying he wants to “test my effiency” (GIANT RED FLAG #3) by having me post the same ad I answered to, verbatim, on craiglist, to any 25 of the free cities (GIANT RED FLAG #4). He claims this is “for a colleague” and I have to set up a Gmail and craigslist account in his name (GIANT RED FLAG #5).

6. I send him an email a little while ago, basically telling him to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

BONUS GIANT RED FLAG: When I realized he was asking me to post what looked like the same ad I answered and compared them (I always bookmark the ads I answer), I realized one of the tasks was “Verify information on rental agreements”. Why the hell would a personal assistant to a photographer need to deal with rental agreements?

Did I just shoot myself in the foot? He didn’t ask for $$$ or anything obvious, but I got a reeeal hinky feeling about the whole thing. And they always say the best way to avoid being scammed is to trust your instincts. Although not everyone has impeccable scam-detection instaincts, or people wouldn’t STILL be falling for those Nigerian things.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wolfshadesblog
    May 02, 2010 @ 11:26:45

    No doubt in my mind your job hunt got speed-bumped by a scam artist. I once had to counsel older people who had found themselves looking for training and work. The wondered if I thought a particular school or employer were OK. And since I wasn’t legally allowed to answer that question, I came up with a list of questions they should ask.

    Bottom line though, it’s what you said. “Trust your instincts.” Also, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.

  2. pinstripebindi
    May 02, 2010 @ 11:55:54

    Oh yeah, this guy was gonna pay me $500 a week to work part-time from home and would supply me with a laptop. SURE DUDE, PULL THE OTHER ONE.

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