CONCEPTION BAY NORTH, N.L. — Most anyone with a personal or work email account is familiar with messages offering an opportunity to make thousands of dollars online working from home or through a one-time financial transaction.
These sorts of promises are usually too good to be true. A man from Conception Bay North knows himself there are legitimate ways to make a living working from home, as physical injuries have forced him to do so for years.
“I’ve never had any problems getting paid,” said the man, who did not want to be identified by name for this story.
Every day he finds messages in his inbox promising earnings through process payments. On a lark, he decided to respond to one of them.
“Basically, the job is supposed to be going after delinquent accounts. What I found strange was within hours of being accepted, an email comes in from this company that’s supposed to owe them money.”
The supposed company says it is willing to settle the account with an $18,000 cheque. The fact this response came so quickly was suspicious to say the least, the man told The Compass. The premise was he would keep a commission after sending his employer the money owed.
“A couple of days after that deadline, a cheque comes in the mail. The envelope has my name and address printed on it, so I open it up and in between two folded up pieces of white printer paper is a cheque for $18,000, and it’s not from the company that it’s supposed to be from.”
He subsequently contacted his bank and was advised to drop it off to a local branch, which he intends to do.
“They said they’ll investigate the cheques themselves,” he said.
He has a chain of emails from his supposed employer in Japan asking whether the cheque was deposited. Those emails were forwarded to The Compass.
This supposed scam is one of many the man has come across in his spare time, including one where the Canada Revenue Agency claims a balance owed can be looked after with iTunes gift cards. Another company supposedly willing to employ him for online work requested the password to his online banking.
“You quickly learn they promise you the sun, the moon and the stars,” he said. “Small investment, big payment type things, so it was too good to be true.”
What irks him most about the business of scam artists is the people who misguidedly get caught up in their schemes.
“I’m not a big lover of these scam artists, and there’s so many of them out there. Facebook is rotten with them. There’s all these work-at-home jobs, get paid easy, daily, all that stuff … And what makes it bad too is there are legitimate work-from-home companies … But these guys are going out there taking advantage of people who probably have bills piling up, and people are desperate and believe whatever they’re being told.”