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steadmandesigns
Community Member

A Scam? Virtual Assistant Helping with Payroll / Printing and Sending Checks

I have worked in Article Writing, Proofreading, and Editing as a Freelance worker. I decided that after completing my book and having extra time this summer I would look into the "Virtual Assistant" jobs. I'm very organized, find solutions quickly, and have always been told I am reliable and go above and beyond. 


This opportunity has come...But I want to make sure it isn't some type of scam I'm not seeing. I can normally smell them fast, but wanted to bounce it off the community.

 

The guy has corresponded with me both on UpWork and email. Has an authentic Outlook email. 

 

He said he has found that the task of printing, organizing, and sending checks has gotten to a level he is looking for help. My job would primarily be printing checks, and he would reimbiurse me for the cost of Business Versa Check ASH 3000's I would need to buy to print on my printer. 

 

I would comiple them and send them by way of USPS Express (prepaid by himself). 

 

Does this seem authentic? Is there any specific questions I should ask to test and weed out any ill-doers? 

He has been professional and upfront. Good response and seems legit...Not rushed or pushy. 

 

Any help is appreciated. 

 

Matt S.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "Does this seem authentic?"

 

This is an old scam.

 

He will want to have you purchase supplies with your money, and he'll send you a worthless paper check to reimburse you, and you will lose money.

 

If you want to call his bluff, go ahead:

 

"Sam, I believe we can work together well on this. Go ahead and send me an hourly Upwork contract offer. I'll accept, and we can continue with you providing any information or training that is necessary. I understand the need for supplies and equipment. You can send these directly to me, or you can send me money to purchase these things myself using Upwork. Upwork has an option to send payment directly for expenses. If I need to buy anything, you can send the money and once it has been processed, I'll make the purchase."

 

Matt: You need to understand that if the client does NOT agree to these conditions, then both you and he would be violating important Upwork ToS rules. You could get your account suspended or even terminated.

 

If the client DOES agree to these conditions, then this could be a legitimate job for you. (Although the client may still be using you to scam other people... who knows.)

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27 REPLIES 27
prestonhunter
Community Member

re: "Does this seem authentic?"

 

This is an old scam.

 

He will want to have you purchase supplies with your money, and he'll send you a worthless paper check to reimburse you, and you will lose money.

 

If you want to call his bluff, go ahead:

 

"Sam, I believe we can work together well on this. Go ahead and send me an hourly Upwork contract offer. I'll accept, and we can continue with you providing any information or training that is necessary. I understand the need for supplies and equipment. You can send these directly to me, or you can send me money to purchase these things myself using Upwork. Upwork has an option to send payment directly for expenses. If I need to buy anything, you can send the money and once it has been processed, I'll make the purchase."

 

Matt: You need to understand that if the client does NOT agree to these conditions, then both you and he would be violating important Upwork ToS rules. You could get your account suspended or even terminated.

 

If the client DOES agree to these conditions, then this could be a legitimate job for you. (Although the client may still be using you to scam other people... who knows.)

Matt

 

Whether you are on Upwork or not, printing checks is a criminal offence. Don't call anyone's bluff. Submit a request and report this person to CS as soon as possible. Here:

 

https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

*sigh* 

Of course, when something looked promising it is a bust. 

 

Thanks for the help. 

Nichola:

There are still real paper checks in the world. And somebody prints them legally.

 

I myself have legally printed checks when I had a retail business and I printed checks to pay suppliers and employees.

 

Matt has encountered a person who is a scammer, whose principal intended victim is probably Matt himself.

 

If the scammer ACTUALLY got Matt to print checks, then Matt would almost certainly be printing illegal checks, intended to be used as part of the scammer's scam, but insulating the scammer from blame, because Matt would be doing the deed.

 

I understand your concern, but I don't agree that "printing checks is a criminal offense."

 

Writing or creating bad checks (forged checks, fraudulent checks, or checks without money to back them up) would be the criminal offense.

Thank you Preston. I did not feel like having to take someone through a history and reality lesson on the fact that there are paper shecks, there is no law that they must be hand written and not printed,, and there are in fact printable ones even for individuals that people can use (in fact, they now have ones for senior citizens who cannot write as well that print on their computer). 

 

That is why although it could be legit...I wanted to make sure it was not a known scam. 

 

On I go I suppose to look for other opportunities. 

 

 


@Matthew S wrote:

Thank you Preston. I did not feel like having to take someone through a history and reality lesson on the fact that there are paper shecks, there is no law that they must be hand written and not printed,, and there are in fact printable ones even for individuals that people can use (in fact, they now have ones for senior citizens who cannot write as well that print on their computer). 

 

That is why although it could be legit...I wanted to make sure it was not a known scam. 

 

On I go I suppose to look for other opportunities. 



I am sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were referring to actually making the check - literally printing a bank check, for example.

 

As to history and reality lessons - that's rich from someone who had to ask if this job was legit .  . .

 

I tried 2 of these payroll companies. Both were scams. You don't ever get paid for your work.
a_lipsey
Community Member


Susan P wrote:
I tried 2 of these payroll companies. Both were scams. You don't ever get paid for your work.

So you broke TOS and are complaining now? Read about how to use the platform and follow the rules and you'll easily avoid scams. 

Is Check Printing Legal? Yes, printing checks from your own printer is perfectly legal. However, they must be printed on special paper.

Thank you for this reply? I have received the exact same "offer" from 4 different individuals over the last 6 days and was concerned as well. Being a new member to Upwork, I really want to get started quickly on projects- but these seem very suspect. It's very discouraging because these are the only interactions I've had here, so it makes me wonder if there are legit clients on this site genuinely seeking actual help.

Is this a payroll job print check and that is the only job I want 

ahatcherbrito
Community Member

I ALMOST GOT SCAMMED!!! BEWARE!!!

I'm really glad I found this post. I recently joined UpWork and was thrilled when I received an invitation for a job as a **Edited for Community Guidelines**. I was offered $800 p/mo for what would be ''less than 30 hours each week".

********
Here's how mine went:
The would-be employer requested my number for a phone interview. Instead of calling me, he started sending texts. But rather than ask me about myself, my previous job experience, etc., he basically spelled out the job and offered it right away.
Only at the end did he mention purchasing the business checks, ink, envelopes, etc.
He even sent me a contract!!!

Here's where red flags started flying:
1) The contract had several spelling errors and was written in poor English.
2) The word 'organization' was spelled incorrectly on both the contract AND the email address it was sent from.
3) For being a well-established company, the email address was in the CompanyName@Gmail.com format rather than EmployeeName@Company.com.

And here's where it got really bad....
The name and profile picture of my contact person: FAKE
The name and address of the company: REAL

So I Googled the company, contacted the manager and informed them of what happened. She said I was the ** SIXTH VICTIM ** in less than 3wks to contact them.


Notes: It was a **Edited for Community Guidelines**.
The guy who I spoke to over the phone was Asian with broken English.
The number I was texted from had a (810) area code.

Hi Annette,

 

I've checked and see the client's account was already addressed by our team at the end of July. Thanks for flagging, feel free to report any further cases to Customer Support directly.

 

Please make sure not to start working unless you have an active contract on Upwork, and note that all the payments have to be processed through the platform.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

I am so glad I checked this out!  I am a real estate transaction coordinator and answered to a posting for the same.  I was contacted by a **edited for Community Guidelines**  regarding my proposal, and immediately requested my phone number to text me.  I have only received texts from **edited for Community Guidelines**, no in person phone calls.  I then received an email which supposed to be a contractual agreement and itemizing things I needed to order from Amazon....check stock paper, being the biggest expense.  The more I've been contacted by this person, the more uneasy I have become.  I just received an email with 30 checks made out to different people, all from **edited for Community Guidelines**(which I googled and found no such company), and all for amounts ranging from $1000 to  $3,700.  Now that they have sent me the checks, I am getting numerous texts asking me to print and send a picture of the checks.  I am not comfortable at all...I am going to tell them I have changed my mind and not to contact me any more.  

 

Any other suggestions or advice?

Hi Karen, 

I checked the client's account, and will go ahead and report the client to the team for their review and action. Please know that these types of jobs are fraudulent, and I would advise that you refrain from contacting this client, or any other client who offer you jobs like these. 

 

I highly recommend that you read up on the freelancer resources we have compiled, making sure to read up the Safety First! section of the resources, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs for more information about working safely through Upwork.


~ Avery
Upwork

Thank you for the response.  I have already blocked all further contact from them on my phone, but I cannot block any emails....hopefully they will not bombard my email.  

I did $5000 worth of work and spent $600 on supplies. I never received my wages or reimbursement. The people running it are from other countries. 5 post offices refused to accept their envelopes for processing. FedEx also refused to accept their envelopes. Don't get involved. Everything they are doing is illegal.
susyzcohen
Community Member

Please becarful with this one. giant scam! the girl removed it from upworked and blocked me on google hangout right after i called her scam..   **Edited for Community Guidelines**
 
Original Message from Client

Hello! We were impressed by your background as your resume speaks highly of you and would like to invite you to brief and interview you as we believe you are capable of handling this position based on your resume. Your details has been forwarded to the Human Resource staff (Mrs. jenny Kloosterboer). she would be conducting an online interview with you to discuss the Job Details, Pay Scale and Benefits, etc.. You need to make contact with the Interview coordinator/ manager. To proceed further you are to set up a screen name with gmail hangout and add her up with the ID (jenny.l.kloosterboer@gmail.com) and instant message her for your online interview/briefing exercise. She is online waiting for you. Your verification code is VTX-015 this would serve as your identification number throughout the on-line hiring process for security. Your timely response matters a lot, this is an online work from home and working hours are flexible. Interview Scheduled : Online. Date: 9/4/2017 Time: 08:00am EST Venue: On line Via Google Hangouts Thank you and good luck with the interview. Secretary Hannah Cabrera less

Hi Susana,

 

I see that the appropriate action has already been done towards the clients account. Thanks for flagging, feel free to report any further cases to Customer Support directly.

re: "Now that they have sent me the checks, I am getting numerous texts asking me to print and send a picture of the checks. I am not comfortable at all...I am going to tell them I have changed my mind and not to contact me any more.

 

Any other suggestions or advice?"

 

Yes:

DO NOT tell them you have changed your mind. DO NOT tell them not to contact you.

 

They are just scammers.

 

DO NOT communicate with them again.

 

BLOCK them in Upwork. Block them on your mobile device. Block them from contacting your phone number, or your email, or any other means of communication that they can reach you with.

 

There is no way in which you benefit by continuing to communicate with scammers.

Thank you for your response.  I have already blocked them from all communication on my phone, but don't know if I can block someone on emails.  Hopefully they will not bombard my email.

mrssuzy
Community Member

These jobs are scams. You never get paid or reimbursed for supplies. They require your password to your personal bank accounts so they can steal your funds.

re: "They require your password to your personal bank accounts so they can steal your funds."

 

They can steal your funds without your personal bank password. They send fake checks, and you send them untraceable money, and then the check they sent fails and the bank claws back the money. You end up losing thousands of dollars.

78537ac7
Community Member

Was the guy's username "prdrobrt"? I am also on Fiverr and started communicating with someone asking me to do the same things.

re: "Was the guy's username 'prdrobrt'? I am also on Fiverr and started communicating with someone asking me to do the same things."

 

Marissa:

There is no "guy."

There is no "name."

 

This is a scam.

It is a script.

The script is passed along among thousands of independent scammers, scam gangs, and highly organized scam businesses. The scammers read the script or memorize it and use it with some variation.

e9a4eb76
Community Member

The check you are talking about I have two boxes of them and I have internet too I just need to get a printer and whatever else I need to get 

Christina, these are all scams. 

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