Virtual Assistant Scam Warning – Part II

By January 29, 2008 Uncategorized 9 Comments

I was asked this question this week by a fellow Virtual Assistant:

“I’ve been approached by someone asking me to cash cheques for their client on their behalf, have you ever done this? Sounds a bit weird?”

If a prospective client asks you to handle any money transactions for them such as cashing cheques, be very wary. It seems that there are people approaching Virtual Assistants by email, inquiring about their services and then asking them to handle money transactions on their behalf (or ‘their client’s behalf’). What they probably do is give you a fake cheque to cash. You pay them their funds and then by the time you’ve realised that the cheque is a dud, they’ve disappeared.

I haven’t received one of these emails yet myself but rest assured I’ll be on the lookout! I’ll post it here if I get one.

I’m not trying to alarm you unnecessarily because there are a lot of legitimate clients out there. But remember, it is highly unlikely that a genuine client would ask you to transfer money or cash cheques on their behalf. I mean, if you were running a real business, would you ask someone to cash cheques on your behalf? I don’t think so!

Read my other post about Virtual Assistant Scams here:

http://virtualpabusiness.com/blog/how-to-become-a-virtual-assistant/virtual-assistant-scam-warning/

9 Comments

  • Thanks for keeping us abreast of the scam artists out there. It’s hard enough to run our VA businesses without falling prey to these guys.

  • Lelia says:

    I received what I felt was a suspicious email the other day. This is it:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I am James Bill Owner Of JAMES CO. INC. I start with greetings and Respect to your Highly recomended store,I am mailing in regards of Flyers that i will like your company to print out for me,Recently my church will be having 20 Years Anniversary in which i will like to print out this flyers for the church so below is the specification on the flyers.
    1. measures 8.5′ x 11′
    2. 80# Gloss Text or
    3. 0.25 – White boarder
    4. One sided
    Please provide a quote on 80,000 copies without a shipping charges on it,i Will like you to e mail me as soon as possible so that we can get this order proceeded Thank you very much and look forward for your service.

    Best Regards,
    JAMES BILL.
    JAMES CO. INC.

    I didn’t respond but I a curious about what other VA’s think. He mentions that my busines came highly recommended but since starting out last January I have only had 2 clients.

    Thanks for the input ladies.

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Definitely a scam. You can tell by the language used and the spelling/grammar mistakes e.g. ‘Highly recomended store’.

    They often pretend to be upstanding pillars of the community, or in a bad situation or something along those lines, to reel you in.

    Thanks for posting this, Lelia!

  • Shelley says:

    I agree this is a scam. How they present themselves and the language and usage is a dead giveaway.

    this is really good stuff. One cannot be too careful.

    thanks for all the imput.

    Shelley

  • Cheryl says:

    Definitely a scam. Besides the language (a dead give-away), the number of copies this person wants. Who needs 80,000 flyers for a church anniversary? If they need that many they are big enough to do a job like this in-house.

    This is eerily written in the same speech pattern as some of those Nigerian email scams offering to give you money for helping to get a large sum of money out of the country and depositing it into your bank account.

  • Lelia, I have received a couple of similar emails and after some research I discovered it is a scam generally targeting the printing industry.

    I now assume I received these emails because I offer graphic design services, and wonder if the scam has moved into other industries through this and other similar keyword phrases.

    If you look at the following page (about halfway down) it explains what the actual scam is:
    http://www.printnet.com.au/news_items/printing_scam.html

    Don’t forget to block the sender’s address and/or domain in your email client – it’s better than doing nothing!

    Levi

  • DeeAnna says:

    I recieved an email regarding a Virtual Assistants job and recieved a couple of emails and then yesterday recieved a check for $3800.00 for nothing but was suppose to keep 8% and western Union the rest to the dominican republic. This ad was Placed in several newspapers across the country and the name of this is woodmade furnitures company
    website ( phoney as hell)
    http://www.woodmadefurnitures.synthasite.com
    I have contacted the synthasite company as well as the FBI beware!!

  • Hi, I also received the bogus email from woodmade furnitures,. I checked out their website, its kinda funny, because they have a Washington state area code, yet the google map clearly shows that they are located in down-town San Francisco?. Ive got a few checks in the past,from different companies, but, this is the first, that, supposedly, was located in the USA .The scamers are trying to get better, but, thanks to sites like this, & good old common sense, they will not exceed!!!
    Keep up the good work, you guys ROCK!!!!Jeff Schwal

  • [...] people off” – usually. No offence to the accounting industry! However, as I’ve said before on this blog, you must be EXTREMELY WARY if approached to transfer money on other people’s behalf. It [...]

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