Complaint / review text:
I put the company's location as Troy NY since that is where I got scammed but they could honestly be anywhere. I am seeking employment and have been posting my resume everywhere and anywhere I see a job posting.
Sept 3,2013 I received a text from (401) 684-0508 saying that they had received my resume and were interested in hiring me for a position. All I had to do was go through my initial interview with a representative through Yahoo! Messenger. At first I was told to contact nora. Young42 (messenger ID) / nora. [email protected] (email) but she didn't respond so I texted the number to see what the hold up was. This time he gave me a new email and ID to have the interview with; suzenie_ann001 (messenger ID) / [email protected] This one responded.
She greeted me appropriately and seemed to be expecting my message. She started right off asking if i was ready for my briefing and interview. She introduced herself and said she was hiring me through Ecolab, Inc. She also sent me the website [www.ecolab.com] in which she wanted me to look over to get an idea of what the company was about. The website was legit and even had a physical location. I even went through a few search engines looking for any "dirt" I could find on the company. Everything that came back was an official website and they're even in good standing with the BBB, as I'm sure the real Ecolab, Inc. Would be. My level of suspicion with the situation had decreased seeing that there really was potentially a company seeking me out for hire.
She explained to me that the position I was being hired for was a Data Entry job that was strictly work from home. She explained that I could make my own hours, I would be getting paid $24.75 / hr bi-weekly and that training would be $15 / hr. Benefits would also be included such as Medical, Dental & 401K plans to name a few. I was hooked! She asked me questions that an interviewer would ask when hiring an employee and briefly explained what my duties would be.
From here she explained that to work from home the company would have to send me equipment that was complete with the software to perform the daily tasks of the position. My mother had worked from home before and her company did just that as well so I didn't even question it. She finished off explaining that the company would be sending me a check so I could purchase materials from a specified vendor so the equipment could be "customized in my name and display the company logo." Other than explaining that I should be back on messenger at 9AM the next morning to meet with my trainer she was finished with me until I received the check. Simple, Human Resources would hire someone and once everything is processed, pass them on to the trainer. Made sense.
Now, my first clue I feel I should've picked up on was the level of English in which this person was messaging me. I actually did pick up on it, I thought it was a little unprofessional that they were leaving words out or using the wrong verbs, etc. I spoke to a few people I know about this and they considered that the hiring department was just outsourced and that could explain the grammatical issues. I could believe that. So I continued to talk to her but with a little more caution, I thought. I promised myself that I wasn't giving out anything like my social security number or any previous employment information, I mean she was supposed to have already seen all that since they had my resume and everything.
Sept 4,2013 she had sent me yet another email / Yahoo! ID to chat with known as my new trainer [garysmithdpt101 (messenger ID) / [email protected]]. He sent me an email with a "Task" that he wanted me to complete to see where my skills were. I completed the task and emailed it back to him.
Sept 5,2013 he told me that my Task was perfect, that there were no mistakes, and that he felt confident I would be successful in my new position. He also told me that he did not have any new "Tasks" for me to complete that day and he would speak to me the following morning.
Also on this day I spoke with Suzenie Ann. She provided me with the tracking number for the check I was to use for materials. They mailed it through USPS. I had received the check by 1PM EDT and notified her as soon as I got it, like she asked. She didn't respond until 8:51PM. She had me verify the check amount of $2,620.00 and then told me I needed to go deposit the check into my bank account through my ATM so that the money would be available for withdrawal by the next day. I told her the ATM was broken and that I would go to the bank the next day. She seemed ok with that.
Sept 6,2013 I deposited the check and the bank cleared the whole amount for immediate use. This reassured me a little as well seeing that my bank did not put their usual hold on a check that was larger than $100 and not from my bank. I figured if they trusted the check so should I. Once I notified Mrs. Suzenie Ann that I deposited the check she asked me to send her a scanned copy of the deposit slip to her email. I sent her a picture, obviously leaving out my banking information. Being that the funds were immediately available she requested that I deposit $2,500 into a Wells Fargo bank account, #: 234805315 and the name on the account was a Adaora L. Nnoruka. I told her the closest Wells Fargo bank from me was 100 miles away. She told me to take $100 from the check and use it for gas to get down there. I called Wells Fargo and my bank to see if I could do a wire transfer so I didn't have to make that trip but I needed more information of the account holder. I went bank and explained this to Suzenie Ann and she insisted that it should be a cash deposit. Then she magically came up with an alternative option to send a lesser amount of $1,900 by Money Gram to a Serina Ambers at 19310 Manor Church Ave. Portland, Oregon 97206; phone number: (240) 329-6779. I agreed since that was something I could do at a Wal-Mart. The total balance with the Money Gram fee totaled $2,055.00. Once it was completed she asked for a scanned copy of the reference number / receipt which I again took a picture of and emailed it to her. She accepted it and explained that I was done for the day and that she would be emailing my Letter of Acceptance for the Employment Offer that I needed to have signed and dated for her. That was all for the day from her.
Sept 6,2013 I also spoke again with Gary Smith. He explained that future training would require the equipment from the vendor and asked if Suzenie Ann had informed me of when I would be receiving it. He said he would speak to me on Monday when I had all materials to work with. This was the last I heard from him. I messaged him again on Sept 11,2013 with no reply.
Sept 7,2013 Suzenie Ann told me the vendor received the money for the materials but that it did not cover the shipping charges. She told me I needed to complete another Money Gram to the same Serina Ambers with the rest of the money from the check. I sent her $463.00 and emailed Suzenie Ann the receipt.
Sunday the 8th I did not hear from her but I received an email from her saying that I was being promoted to Online Manager and that I needed to attend a seminar in Jacksonville Florida.
Sept 9,2013 she asked me if I had received the email. I told her I had but that I was not going to Florida on their dime, let alone by myself. She informed me that materials would be sent out on Wednesday and that I should have them by Friday. She also told me that I would be meeting with a delegate of the company sometime by the end of the week to fill out my W-4 forms.
Sept 10,2013 she explained to me what materials I would be receiving and that i should be on the lookout for another check to cover my pay and other furniture. She said the materials consisted of an HP Z1 workstation (pretty sickass piece of equipment by the way) and that the furniture included office chairs, shelves and tables to fit said equipment. When I asked her why she was sending me chairs, shelves, and tables she never responded.
Sept 11,2013 I received the tracking number for the new check and had received it again by 1PM. This time there were to envelopes, one with the tracking number she provided me and the other with a different tracking number. They both had checks in them for the same amount, the only difference were the checks colors. I had her verify the amount this time because I was feeling super sketchy at this point. She got it right, $4,980. She said it was for the conference meeting in Jacksonville, Fl. I told her I was not going and she said the representative I was going to meet with that week would take care of everything instead.
When I asked her about the double check she claimed it was a mistake from the accounting section and to just deposit one and keep one. I tried to deposit the one that came out of the envelope with the tracking number she provided only to find out that my account was overdrawn $2,627.65 since the check I had deposited days ago was returned, including the $10 charge my bank claims for the returned check. When I explained to her what had just happened and that she had better clear this up she offered the solution: "It should be deposited and have that deducted from the first check." I wasn't falling for it again. I would rather be out $2,600 that $7,000 because they bounced this check too. She tried to reassure me that the check could not be returned because the "first check was returned because of insufficient funds. Funds are available now in the company account. Have it deposited and make withdrawal of the balance left." I asked her to show me proof that the company had money in the account and I would deposit it. She never responded after that but a few hours later I messaged her again then saying that I could see she was still online and to please respond. Her account went idle immediately and offline soon after.