Victim Location 76549
Total money lost $200
Type of a scam Employment
I recently updated my resume on Indeed and my profile on LinkedIn as I am in the market for a new place of employment. On October 15, I received a text message from 3128091887 @ 6:46pm greeting me by my full name asking me how I was doing. I didn’t recognize the number and asked who it was. The person responded and said his name was Mr. Bali Sanghera, hiring manager of Star OUTiCO company and that he was contacting me because my resume had been forwarded to him and wanted me to schedule an online job briefing about the available positions and to do an interview with him.
I replied and asked him what and where are these positions. He didn’t reply until 4:09am the next morning. I thought that was odd, but then I googled the company and saw that it was located in Bath, UK. They are 6 hours ahead of us so I figured that was the reason for the odd time. The text said it was a remote position for an LVN located in Killeen TX and that I was advised to follow instructions for more details of the company.
I searched his name on LinkedIn and found a profile that matches. The person’s name is the same and works for StarOUTiCO but this person is a woman and her title is Multi Channel Account Manager @ OUTiCO in the UK. I figured the company was legit but was wondering why did he say Mr instead of Ms when introducing himself on chat. This was a redflag, but I ignored it.
Then he sent me an e-mail that Friday morning stating that I would have to set up a Skype and invite him on Skype to do the interview. I set up my Skype and sent a request to the contact that he gave me.
Fast forward to Sunday morning, I woke up to 2 missed calls on Skype and a message from him. I thought that was odd as well because it was Sunday, but then I thought this is in a different country so maybe they do things differently. So I responded and he proceeded to do the job briefing and interview via Skype chat. He sent me the website for StarOUTiCO and had me review the site before we proceeded. The site looked legit and so does the company but I was still wondering how did he find me all the way in TX to work for this company. I ignored that red flag and continued with the interview. We interviewed from 9am to 1023am.
I was told to report back on Skype at 9am Monday morning so that he could tell me if I was chosen to for the position. He asked legit interview questions so I thought it was real. He told me that it was a work from home position and that it would pay $45/hr and the training would be paid at $30/hr. I was intrigued because this is almost double what I make as an LVN. That was another red flag I ignored because I was too preoccupied with wanting a new job.
The next day he contacted me at 9am on the dot. He told me I did so well on the interview and that I was chosen for the position. After that I was bombarded for most of the day with message after message. I was sent a welcome letter, a letter with an explanation of the position and the pay, a w4, and training schedules. He said I would start training immediately and that they needed to get a headshot for my encrypted ID card to grant me access to the company’s database during work and training. I sent them a quick photo because I was being rushed, I was also at my current job at the time trying to multitask working and corresponding with him.
I didn’t really have time to carefully go over all the documents he was sending because I was being spammed with message after message, he was acting as if I needed to be onboarded as quickly as possible. He sent me a photo of my “encrypted ID” and it looked real official with the company logo and digital barcode in the corner. Then he started instructing me on “software and working materials” that I would have to purchase for my mini office and said that the company would reimburse me with a check or cashapp transfer. This is another thing I thought was odd but ignored again. He said that I needed to get 2 Google Play gift cards at $100 each in order to download the software.
He said I would be reimbursed by the company. Again, thought it was weird, but I figured this is an outsourced job and ignored the red flag again. I went home and filled out the w4 and training scheduled, and signed the welcome letter and scanned it back to him. I went to purchase the gift cards and felt it wasn’t right. I sent a picture of the gift cards still in the packaging to him. He then asked for a picture of the receipt and for me to take the cards out and send a picture of the back. At this point, I knew for sure I was being scammed.
That night I went home and put a freeze on all my credit and started a fraud alert. I also filed it with the FTC.
These people have my SSN,DOB, address, and photo.
The next day, 10/20/20, he messages me again and this time I start to asked for his credentials, where is he located exactly, and what is his business phone number and business e-mail. He said that he was in New York on business but the company is in the UK. I asked who his direct supervisor was. He told me Graham McIntosh. He said his direct line was 3128091887, which was the number he texted me from initially. This is also a Chicago number. I told him that is not an official business phone. He said he would send it but never did. I tried to do a video call twice so that I could see his face, he declined each time.
He said he was multi tasking and couldn’t do the call. He proceeded to send me another document which was supposed to be a training review form and wanted me to sign and send it back. Then he sent a fedex tracking number, I asked what was he sending me, he said a reimbursement check to cover the working materials. He said the check is for $4200. Then I asked him for a business e-mail because when I looked back at the emails he sent at first, it was from two different gmails. One was [email protected] and the other was [email protected]
No real company is going to e-mail you from a gmail. In hindsight I see that. He replied back with [email protected] as his business e-mail. I asked him to send me an e-mail from that address to verify that’s him. He said he would but never did. That was the last convo I had with him. I checked the tracking number on fedex and the check is indeed on the way to me. When I get it, I’m going to report it. This is a very intricate scam these people have going on. I always felt it was too good to be true and it was. If I would have slowed down and really carefully reviewed all the documents he sent like I should I have, I would’ve caught all the small grammatical errors and misspellings and the scam wouldn’t have ever went as far as it did.