Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How To Spot A Scam

With writers, we apply for quite a few jobs before we land some really good ones. And one example of a site with numerous jobs on it, is of course, Craigslist. If you've seen my earlier post, you'll recognize there are a number of jobs which don't quite make sense. But how about scams?

1. One way to recognize a scam is by the wording of the ad. If it's worded incorrectly and asks for a lot of your information without giving out some of theirs, you may want to avoid it.

2. Another is a 'paid only upon approval' type ad, which offers to pay you only if your sample is approved. If there's no legitimate website listed, you'll be unable to verify if they've used your work without paying you for it.

3. A third type is where the ad itself seems very legitimate and a site is given in order for you to browse through it. But the email address of the person in question does not sit quite right. Below is a response I received recently from a craigslist ad I had written to. The language used is questionable as is the email address.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: "mridrjohn@aol.com"
To: usha_sliva@yahoo.ca
Sent: Sunday, August 2, 2009 4:21:00 PM
Subject: ABOUT THE COMPANY AND THE ARTICLE.

Hello,

How are you doing today?
Thanks for the prompt reply,Midwest Research Institute(MRI),wants you to write an article of 400 words about JOB OFFER.The company will like to offer you $200 for 400 words,the faster you write the better you get more topics of articles from us.
The company will be making payment to you as soon as you agree to make the payment.
We need you to write an article that will contain us offering people jobs,but before you preceed,i will like to tell you more about the company.

About the Company :
MRI was established in 1944 with a mission to supply needed research for industry and to encourage programs using regional resources. Today MRI is an internationally acclaimed center for applied research and technology development. Our accomplishments range from pioneering efforts in environmental and cancer research to cutting-edge work in drug development and high-precision automation technology.
That is little about the job,we want you to incluse that in your article,we will like to know more about you,kindly answer the questions,
And moreover

Where are you from?
How many hours will it take you to write 400words?
What kind of form of payment do you prefer?

I want a prompt reply,get back Asap.

Thanks
Dr.John Stanley
.


It's sent by a Dr John Stanley. I googled the company and there was a John Stanley in it, but his email address was different. So I wrote him and this is his response:

Usha,

Thanks for contacting me. The information that you received is a scam and has no connection with our company. We are aware of this activity which has taken many different forms over the past few months. We are working with the authorities to address the problem. I suggest that you alert your friends and colleagues that this type of activity is occurring.

Regards

John


So the next time you apply for a position or receive a response, always double check to see if it's a legitimate case before parting with any financial information, work samples or personal details.

Interested in learning more? Try these reads:





11 comments:

Admin said...

report all scams at http://www.allscamsforum.com

A.J.Johnson said...

Great post...

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Thanks A.J
It's happened to all of us at some point or the other; which is why it's always such a good idea to double check anything that looks questionable.

Eric B. said...

Thanks for the post! I had just been in contact with the same mridrjohn, and you confirmed my suspicions.

But, really, scamming freelance writers? That's just low.

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

It is! I think it's more to gain access to your work, links etc than anything else. I've had that happen to me in the past, and then found my work appeared elsewhere, under someone else's name!

write a writing said...

I was getting my apprehensions not because of this but because of nthr reply from a doctor n the same pattern so i googled this guy n landed here.... here is my side of story:


from mridrjohn@aol.com
to info@writeawriting.com
date Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM
subject THE ARTICLE AND FORM OF PAYMENT.

hide details Aug 7 (2 days ago)


Reply

Follow up message
Good day,

Thanks for the reply,i want you to start writing the article,I am sure you know you will be working on the topic called JOB OFFER.This article will be published on the company website and some other advertising firm so interested applicants can apply for it,the article deadline is 24hrs when the payment is made to you,because the company will make payment as soon as you agree to write the article.
The target reader for this article are the interested applicant that will like to part time with the company in thier different locations,the 400 words from you is just a start up of the article,this will determine if we can offer you more article to write for the company,so this first job is not the end of it,we still have many articles coming for you to write.
The keypoints that must be included are litle about the company and the rest should contain the job offering.
This article will be approved by the board of directors in the company,the company will be will only include the company profile,the remaining words will be included by you..Here are some more information i want you to know about the company so you can start up your article from it.

MRI, a not-for-profit scientific research organization with 1,800 employees nationwide, performs contract research and laboratory consulting services for clients in government, industry, and academia. Established in 1944, MRI is one of the nation’s leading independent research institutes conducting research in the areas of national security and defense, energy and environment, life sciences, food and agriculture, and transportation safety. With headquarters in Kansas City, MRI also has facilities in Palm Bay, Fla., Frederick, Md., and Rockville, Md. MRI is one of the two entities in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, that manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colour., for the U.S. Department of Energy.

I am certified with the charges for the articles and the working hours, Payment will be send out to you immediately so get working on the article and i would love to do more business with you. I will advice you to start the article as soon as you get the payment and get it reply back to me with it so i can submit it to the company.

This project is been fund by our affiliates and payment will be send to you in form of (US BANK Drawn Money Orders or Cashier Cheque).

Kindly get back to me with your the full name and address and phone number which you would like the check to be made out to.

I hope reading from you soon..

Sincerely

Dr.John Stanley.

write a writing said...

n ya the id the message that got me wondering was from some Rawlins Morgan...so be ware of this one too

from rawlinsmorgan@aim.com
to info@writeawriting.com
date Sat, Aug 8, 2009 at 7:04 AM
subject More Details..

hide details Aug 8 (2 days ago)


Reply

Follow up message
Hello,

How are you doing today?
Thanks for the prompt reply,Triple B ,wants you to write an article of 400 words about JOB OFFER.the faster you write the better you get more topics of articles from us.
The company will be making payment to you as soon as you agree to make to write an articles for Triple B.
We need you to write an article that will contain us offering people jobs,but before you proceed,i will like to tell you more about the company.

About the Company :
Officially Triple B, LLC was founded in September, 2007 under the business category of electronics design. Although specializing in electronics it is understood that most all projects contracted through us require some degree of mechanical design and may even consist solely of it. We are a small company focused mainly on custom design and prototype work currently. Our typical orders are small in nature ranging from one to several hundred parts. As time progresses Triple B expects to focus its resources on development of a larger scale role in manufacturing. .
That is little about the job,we want you to include that in your article,we will like to know more about you,kindly answer the questions,
And moreover

Where are you from?
How many hours will it take you to write 400words?
What Method of payment do you prefer?

I want a prompt reply,get back Asap.

Thanks
Dr.Rawlins Morgan

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Thanks for sharing this! Hopefully other readers will not get caught up in this scam in particular.
Cheers!

Brigitte Thompson said...

Usha, This a great post on scamming. Thank you for helping us identify this sort of thing.

MizzRoy said...

I was just scammed by the same "Dr. John Stanley." Thank goodness for google and, of course, blogspot.

Usha Krishnan Sliva said...

Hope you managed to spot it in time!