Feb. 14th, 2013

Okay, so yesterday I got an email back from one of the thousands of craigslist postings to which I'd sent my résumé.  They told me that their HR person was online on yahoo messenger and waiting to talk to me.  I tried to click the link in the email to go back and see which ad it was (I've answered A LOT) and it said that the posting had been flagged for removal.

Anyway, I added the HR lady's handle to my yahoo messenger thing (I'd never used the service before) and after a while (I had to actually email her and tell her my name and that I was ready for the "interview") she finally showed up with a "Hello".  She began copy-pasting things into the chat, and her spelling was... questionable, to say the least.  Random words were capitalized in sentences, for instance, and "chose" was substituted for "choose" in one place, etc.  I rationalized that maybe English wasn't her first language.

She described a computer company (and linked a website) that had begun its life in MN and was looking to move to a new location.  I inferred that she meant NYC.  She said that for three weeks they would need someone to work up to eight hours a day, faxing, doing data entry, things like that.  I answered a quick questionnaire that weirdly didn't touch on any of my skills, and after a few moments told me I'd been approved for the job, congratulating me a lot.  She then said that I was going to need all new equipment--computer, fax machine, software, etc--and that they were going to send me a check and instructions on where and what to buy.  She told me to be online again at 8am for the next stage of my training.

This morning I logged into yahoo messenger at 7:45 and she was ready with a "Hello".  I'd quickly learned that showing personality was pretty pointless, since the responses I was getting were very flat.  The whole thing was very suspicious, especially when I realized that yahoo messenger, unlike skype, AIM, and every other messaging program I know, doesn't save past chats.  This morning she told me that I would soon receive a check for a large sum of money, and I would deposit it into my account, keep $100 for myself, buy Quickbook software, and then send the rest to the manufacturer who would send me my new stuff.  She even asked if I would be able to cash a check or if I would have to deposit it.  She then said that tomorrow she would give me more information at 8am, and bid me a good day.

Obviously I wasn't going to plan on any of this being true until the cash started rolling in, but through all my suspicions I still couldn't see how I had given them an opportunity to scam me.  They only had my name and address, not my bank account or anything!  It wasn't until my roommate started telling me about scams where you deposit a check and send the money off before you learn that the check is fake, and then the money has to come from your account... or something like that?

Anyway, I know the whole thing is hella shady-seeming, which is why a few moments ago I used the website I was provided to contact the company and ask if this HR lady was a real person and I had a real job.  Just in case it is somehow all true, I put in some sort of "it just seems a little too good to be true!" line so I wouldn't be thought of as ungrateful or what-have-you.  But yeah, the whole thing seems really odd, and I'm not giving up the job hunt till I feel secure.

What do you guys think?

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