Graphic Designer Barely Avoids Losing $2,200 After Falling For Fake Job Scam

Mason Joseph Zimmer
hands attaching band to stack of 20 dollar bills
youtube | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

There have scammers and con artists lurking around since before our great-grandparents were born, but it's probably fair to say that we come across a lot more of them than we used to.

Of course, many of us have to deal with some scammer pretending to be a relative or a government agency half the time we answer the phone. And they've always got some scare tactic designed to keep us off our guard for long enough to give them money.

But while this strategy has been overused enough that we know to either hang up or roleplay as a hardened criminal, some scams that might seem about as obvious on paper are a lot more insidious because they appear in places that otherwise seem legitimate.

And that's why one graphic designer is now warning others about how easily scammers can set up fake job listings on employment websites.

While this person was looking for work on a service called Upwork, they received a message from someone they thought was a recruiter.

shed with Aerotyne sign on it
youtube | Paramount Home Media Distribution

As they explained in a Reddit post, they considered their experience important to share, but it also made them feel a little dumb due to the red flags they missed.

Because while the grift this "recruiter" was running seemed more sophisticated than other scams, the designer realized in retrospect that this person didn't have an email address from the Savers thrift store chain, but rather one from a different website that redirected there.

Another red flag came from the fact that this person wanted to conduct the interview over text through an app called Wire.

This interview took over an hour and the designer couldn't help but notice how incompetent the recruiter came off.

man in suit and domino mask typing onkKeyboard
Getty Images | Vincent Besnault

Although that should have been another red flag, they figured this was just a case of the person not understanding graphic design.

Ironically, they said, "I had multiple moments where I thought, 'Haha, this person is a moron. I am playing them like a fiddle.'"

But after the designer was offered a position and sent a fake contract, they were almost the one who got played.

That's because their new "employer" told them they were supposed to purchase equipment for a home setup and sent over a fake check to deposit to their bank.

hands attaching band to stack of 20 dollar bills
youtube | Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

And despite the fact that the bank's system didn't recognize this low resolution check during any of the six times the designer attempted this, they didn't get suspicious.

Indeed, they even offered to cover the costs with their own money and were right about to send the first $1,000 payment of a $2,200 total before a problem arose with the payment service Zelle.

In the designer's words, "I realized, all of a sudden, that none of this made any sense."

They discovered that this fake company was running this scam on 16 other people, so they reported the listing to Upwork. At last report, however, it remains up.

h/t: Reddit | al666in