Last post I gave the story of Kimberly (not her real name), who fell victim to a crook in the early days of her Virtual Assistant business. Let’s look at some more traits of the dark side of working online we need to be aware of.

This tale comes from my coach and VA Super-Diva Regina Lewis. I’m part of her VA 101 Mastermind group, and one other student was so excited because someone had reached out to her on LinkedIn with a job offer. See below for what she saw, and how Regina responded to the student asking, “Is this legitimate?”

“And as much as I wanted to tell her to proceed with this, I just couldn’t. Because “Luis Roberto” or whoever it was just trying to scam her.

How can you tell?

  • That jacked-up email address. I’m pretty sure Sodexo, an international food and facilities management headquartered in Paris, can afford emails with the suffix. Not No way, no how. Go take a seat, Luis Roberto.
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors. “If you choose to accept this position, please reply this email with a brief letter of acceptance.” What an awkward sentence! It hurt just typing that. Have you heard of spell-check and grammar check, Luis Roberto? Oh yeah, this phrase really stinks: “The agreement between you and me…” Huh? I thought the offer was from Sodexo? Now it’s an agreement with good old Luis Roberto? I don’t think so!

When in doubt, visit the company website and do a search for the position. And really — if it sounds too good to be true, well, you know the rest.

  • Asking you to cash a check and send the proceeds somewhere.
  • Asking for bank account information.”

I noticed some other things, such as “this is a part-time position” in two consecutive sentences. This leads me to think this is written by someone that is a novice at English, which is also indicated by the basic spelling and grammar errors.

When I see these things, I think, “C’mon, man! With the effort you spend constructing these scams, you could spend that same effort building something legitimate and making an honest living.” Think about it – the scammer has to create a message that will appear believable, then spend time searching LinkedIn or social media or job boards to find someone to scam, then devote time to answering any questions the victim may ask. Once you convince someone to fall for your scam, you have to spend some time pretending to carry on business – give some kind of work assignment, wait for the victim to finish it, then proceed with the fake payment, recoup the funds by whatever nefarious means you set up, then get missing. I wish the crooks would consider that the amount of time they spend trying to rob someone and realize they could be legit with just as much effort. Of course, there are always people that want to cheat and steal instead of work hard. It’s a shame.

Fortunately, there are more hard workers than crooks. A Virtual Assistant can take care of your essential administrative tasks so you can deliver even more outstanding results to your customers and clients, and both parties see great benefits. Click here to see what services you can hand off, and Contact us to see how we can partner to make great things happen for your business.