Kylee Kennedy posted her updated resume to Ziprecruiter.com and much to her surprise, a recruiter claiming to represent "Bluefish Pharmaceuticals," a company based in Sweden, got back to her within a few days.
"I researched the company and did a quick, okay everything looks legit," said Kennedy.
The recruiter sent her a text, saying they were looking for someone who could work from home with a background in accounting, book keeping and customer service.
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"That's my background," she said. "And I was kind of excited."
The job fell right in her lap.
The recruiter asked her to log on to Google Hangouts an instant messaging site.
"I thought it was kind of odd to do a internet interview, but they do phone interviews all the time, so there's really not much difference," said Kennedy.
She logged on that night and the hiring manager, Donald Jason, started the interview. She learned the job pays $45 an hour with a 401K, health, dental and paid vacation.
In no time, Kennedy got the job. "He came back on and said congratulations," said Kennedy.
She was hired but something felt "off."
The manager said he would send her a check to purchase software, but she had to deposit the check through an ATM.
"They asked me for my address and how I want the check made out. So I did that, I waited for them to send the check," Kennedy said.
She got a cashier's check three days later for $3,450.
But then she read the letter that came with the check.
"That's when the red flags really started waving. There's no letterhead. There's no welcome to our company. There's no nothing," Kennedy said.
The letter states: "If you are told to discard this letter, do not do such."
"I knew at that point that nothing was adding up. It's definitely a scam," she said.
Luckily, she didn't deposit the check. But these fake check schemes are very common.
Con artists will sometimes ask you to deposit a check, and then wire a portion of the money, leaving you responsible for repaying your bank.
Kennedy reached out to Bluefish Pharmaceuticals who confirmed it was indeed a scam.
On its website, the company posted a warning stating:
"It has been reported to us, from many sources, that a person called Donald Jason is hiring falsely under our company name in many cities of the U.S. In order to stop this, we ask kindly all the people who has been involved in some sort, to report any incident of this type to the U.S. Authorities.
And that's what Kennedy did. She contacted the FTC and the FBI's internet crime's unit.
"I consider myself semi-intelligent and if I got this far in the process I feel that there are people that would really fall for it and I didn't want anyone else to get hurt," she said.
And she has a message for the person, or people responsible.
"If these guys are watching, the only thing I have to say is shame on you," Kennedy said.
A warning for everyone else:
- Don't deposit a check you're unsure about. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you're responsible for repaying the bank.
- Watch out for impostors. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, or an employer.
- Don't give out personal information. Keep in mind if your resume is online, your information is exposed to anyone.
- Google a company or product name with words like "review," "complaint" or "scam." If nothing comes up, give the company a call and ask questions.
- Remember if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.