Want ads...a twist on the Nigerian scam

Talk about the Nigerian 4-1-9 scam in all its many variations, such as bogus checks sent from Nigeria to purchase used cars in the U.S. and many other variations of this scam.

Want ads...a twist on the Nigerian scam

Post by Pangea » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:18 pm

I like to think I'm scam savvy. Luckily, I saw this one for what it was before it was too late.

While look for a job about 2 years ago, I went through the want ads of the local newspaper. Among many many others, I sent my resume to a company that responded back favorably. It was an online interview, sort of, which I did find strange. But the company website too great on a cursory view. The company claimed to be an auto body shop from about 100 miles away that was looking to expand into my market. They needed someone who knew my area to do the prep of the possible expansion. It was right up my alley.

The bell and the red light went off when I was told that some clients would be sending payment to me in the form of money orders. I was to receiv 3, each for $750. I was to deposit them and send $1800 back to the company, keep $450 as my first pay check. Errrrk. I squealed to a stop and checked the website more carefully. The pictures were all hijacked from other sites. There was a physical address listed for the body shop. I emailed my contact and told him that I had been in the area and the address was an empty lot (which I assume it was, I hadn't been there). The contact told me that they had recently moved and hadn't had time to update the website with the new address. Ding ding ding.

The money orders arrived and let me tell you: they looked extremely authentic. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. There was a VERY remote chance that they were real. I stuck them in a drawer. No one contacted me from the company looking for their money, so I knew. I called the newspaper to let them know what was going on, since the ad was still running. The paper didn't seem too concerned. I contacted the post office, but they said there was no way to track who made the counterfeit money orders. So I just shredded them.