Recently I threw a resume out on Career Builder and received a lot of very obvious work at home scams. One particularly well presented offer was for an Client Account Manager that promised a full time salary or $3,750 per month or part time $1,900 per month. The company is based in Fort Meyers Florida and I actually was able to talk to the “HR” person…who also answered the main phone line. The offer sounded “too good to be true”…working from you house: “As a Client Account Manager you will represent the company to our existing clients and communicate both with our headquarters in FL, and with our suppliers and contractors from Europe. Also, this is a remote job, so you can work from home, stay with your family and manage your time by yourself!”. Wow! what a great opportunity!
The New Customer Agent Scam:
Then I started digging…I did a Google search for “Customer Account Manager Scam” and found several articles from banking institutions that warn of very similar sounding offers. The UW Credit Union of Madison Wisconsin states:
“The thieves solicit you through an email or an advertisement on the Web, offering to let you work from home as their Account Manager. You earn a commission for your efforts, usually 5% with the promise to earn more. The scammers then transfer money out of an unsuspecting person’s account and into yours. Once the money is in your account, they ask you to send the money to them via Western Union.”
Optimal Graphics has a unique spin on this: They ask you to accept payment from clients, then pay that money to third party service providers. So, money comes into your bank account from a client, then you pay someone else, ending any “illegal” paper trail for that money. In most jurisdictions, this is called “Money Laundering” and can get you into some very hot water. I kindly asked the Optimal Graphics HR manager about this, but so far I have yet to received a reply. Am I just incredibly paranoid? I guess a “no reply” throws up another red flag.
Is it Legit or is it a Scam?
The Optimal Graphix website looks legit, they appear to have been around since 2004 and so far, the clients they display seem to check out.
I was “All In” with the Optimal Graphix offer, right up until the HR manager sent me a fourth email requesting my bank account information:
“The Financial Form is required for 2 purposes: for the company to deposit your paycheck, and for the clients to send you advance payments for their projects. The W4 form is required for tax purposes: your income tax will be deducted from your salary.
As a Client Account Manager you will be working directly with our clients, which would entail receiving the fees for the projects ordered with us as well as paying the team members working on them. You will get invoices for the clients’ payments, which will show that you only receive such payments as an authorized company representative; they are not your personal income, so you won’t have to pay taxes on them.
You can open a separate checking account for working with us. It could even be a business one: “Your name DBA Optimal Graphix.” However, if you have an existing account already and would like to use it, it would be preferable, as with some banks it might take you additional time and/or money to set up a new one. “
This is where the red flags really started to fly. There it was, the money transfer part of the scam. McAfee also warns that the Account Manager / Money Transfer Agent scam, stating: “One of the newest scams is the Account Manager or Money Transfer Agent. Recipients receive an email or advertisement on the web trying to recruit them to be an account manager or transfer agent for a fictitious company. These scam artists steal money from an unsuspecting person’s account, then transfer the money into the manager/agents’ account. The criminals then ask that the money be sent back to them. Again, the compensation is the manager/agent gets to keep a percentage of the money as their ‘commission’. This opens the personal accounts of the manager/agent up to fraud – and if the account is used in an online scheme, the owner can be liable for lost funds.”
I eagerly await any reply from Optimal Graphix to show me actual clients and some type of documentation that says this is legal in states other than Florida. Please perform your due diligence before accepting and participating in any work at home job offers.
For more information on money laundering or reshipping fraud, check out: http://www.bobbear.co.uk/#1
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