Beware of employment scams!

by Aviator2903

I saw plenty of other posts about various employment scams and I recently encountered one myself. My sister-in-law is in college and in the process of applying for internships. She ran into one job posting on Indeed that looked legit so she applied. Immediately, she got an email from “Amazon” inviting her to an interview the next day via Google Hangouts. Thankfully, she contacted me and I immediately suspected this was a scam. Since when Amazon conducts job interviews on Google Hangouts?

Anyway, I told her to go on with the interview and see what the trick is. Next morning, she logged in, added the “Hiring Manager” in Hangouts and started chatting. This manager sent her a bunch of generic questions (What is your best skill?; How would you describe yourself?) she needed to answer “for further consideration”. SIL played along, answered the questions, after which this person said “wow, you seem overly qualified for this job”. She was told to wait 5 minutes while the answers are being passed on to HR. As expected, she got the job!

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This hiring manager instructed her to purchase $2,500 worth of software for which she will receive a check soon. Sure enough, few minutes later SIL received an email from “Amazon Dept. of Human Resources” containing the check for $2,500. The person on Hangouts further instructed SIL to deposit the check electronically ASAP so the funds can go through and she could start working. At that point, SIL told this person she deposited the check (of course, she DID NOT) and was instructed to log in again tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. for the “daily briefing”.

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This whole thing screams red flags but, unfortunately, so many people fall for it still. SIL documented everything, from conversations to emails and the check itself, and plans on filing a police report but without proof that the check is fraudulent, best thing cops can do is notify Amazon that someone is impersonating them. Does anyone know of any way to find out if a check is bad without actually depositing it and risking your account? In any case, please be very, very careful and alert as scammers are getting more and more sophisticated by the day.

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