If someone “hires” you, and then sends you money for a computer, IT’S A SCAM!

If someone “hires” you, and then sends you money for a computer, IT’S A SCAM!

I was contacted by a writer seeking my advice, but who asked me not to publish her letter. I will not do so but I think you all need to know about this scam in the industry.

The writer was “hired” by what appeared to be a well known publisher. She was then offered a free computer on which to do the work.

The scammer:

1. Mailed her a check
2. Told her to deposit it into an ATM
3. And, told her exactly which vendor to use on Amazon to buy the computer

Of course, her alarm bells went off.

Here’s my response:

I find it extremely weird that you were told to deposit money into an ATM (which means there might be a one- or two-day delay in processing it), and then you had to buy the computer from a specific vendor. Not only would you be paying money to that vendor (who is probably the actual scammer) but, by the time the bank got around to processing your ATM deposit, you’d have already spent the money on the computer. Of course, the check they sent to you would bounce. Worse, they might then have your bank account information.

This entire scenario is way too weird. I recommend NOT depositing that money!! Rather, contact their bank, and report the possible scam. The check might not even be from a real bank.

UPDATE

The writer was finally able to connect with the legal department at the publishing house that the scammer was using as a cover. It was absolutely a scam and they were already aware of it. The writer is going to send the fake check and all of the scammer’s correspondence to the publisher’s attorney. I congratulated her on not only being smart enough to see this scam for what it was, but also for going the extra mile in an attempt to stop the scammer.

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