A Job Scam - Beware

Counterfeit Cashier's Check

Counterfeit Check
Counterfeit Check

How they find you

I had posted my resume on several job sites looking for work. One employer contacted me via email and offered me a job. They said they found my resume on Real Match and were interested in hiring me for Data Entry/Administrative Clerk/Customer Service. The email was from a Mr. Peter Cole who said he worked for Telezone, LLC, a vitamin and supplement company. After several emails back and forth, I was hired to "receive payments".

The bait and hook

I was advised via email a check would be sent to me, and my job was to cash it and deduct 10% for my salary. Then I was to forward the remainder of the money to an address provided. The check did indeed show up and it was very realistic-looking, supposedly issued by Chevron Federal Credit Union. But I was suspicious. I could come up with no valid reason why they couldn't cash their own checks.

The truth

I took the check to my bank and asked them to verify if it was genuine. They were unable to do so, although they made a phone call. Next, I took the check to the police. They advised me to call the attorney general. I called the attorney general's office and was told the whole thing was most certainly a scam, although they had not heard of this particular one. Finally, I found the Chevron Credit Union phone number online and called them. I was told the check was no good and to destroy it. They said they were aware of the scam and had their legal department working on it.

Confronting the scammers

I emailed Mr. Cole and told him my bank would not cash the check. He emailed me back and told me they would, try again. I responded by telling him the Chevron Credit Union said the check was no good. Unbelievably, another man, a Mr. Jimmy Prince, responded by telling me the check was good and to go cash it. I informed him he needed to contact his credit union and find out why they will not honor his checks. I have not heard back from either man.

Be wary

According to the attorney general's office, a lot of people are taken in by similar scams. They cash the check, forward the money, and then a couple of weeks later when the check bounces, they are in debt for the amount of the check plus fees. If you receive any kind of similar "job offer", be sure to check it out carefully. I am relieved I did not cash this check, and I am disappointed that the job offer was not legitimate.

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Comments 55 comments

CDL Career Coach profile image

CDL Career Coach 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Wow, that's a pretty nasty thing to do to someone that's unemployed and looking for work. I've heard other variations where people do this with checks but it's a favor because they are out of the country or something, not a job offer!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

That's lousy! I wonder how many people, not as savvy as you have fallen for this and found themselves in even more trouble than before they were "hired"? I despise all scams but ones on people who are in a spot to begin with really make my blood boil.

Thanks for an informative and helpful hub.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Karen glad that you were suspicious or one might say smarter than those trying to scam you. It's to bad that there are people like that always trying to find a new way to trick someone out of money or give someone like you false hope of a job that in the end is not real.

Great hub!!! And good work uncovering this scam !


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 5 years ago from california

Karen, I'm sorry to hear about this happening to you.

Your Attorney General has not heard of this? I found out about this sort of scam on an episode of Judge Judy many years ago. I would call them again and speak with someone else. They should take a formal complaint and your evidence which would include your check and the e-mails in order to track down the unique internet address. If they don't do this, you may well have a new hub entitled: My Attorney General has Incompetent Staff!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

I'm surprised the CU told you to destroy it.. wouldn't it be evidence of some sort?

It is good you were suspicious. It would seem peculiar to have someone ask for money back from their check, but I suppose some people would do it.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Deni, the attorney general's office did ask me to forward them the emails and a copy of the check, which I did. But they said all they could do is just keep a record of the scams. He said they lacked the funding to actually go after people like this. And Rochelle, I asked the credit union if they wanted to see a copy of the check and she said no. She said they were aware of the scam and repeated that their legal dept is looking into it. The check looks so real, I wouldn't be surprised if some people fall for it. Even the bank couldn't tell if it was genuine or not!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This is just terrible! Sorry you had to go through this. Great hub - informative and well written. Thanks so much.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for all the comments. I guess the old adage is accurate, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


chander mehra profile image

chander mehra 5 years ago from Delhi

Good hub! A warning to all gullible jobseekers.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

This is a familiar scam perpetrated with the twist of a job offer.

The authorities should monitor the address you were provided to send the money to. Anyone picking up the envelope can be prosecuted, and traced to the source.

It's good you were skeptical.

CP


ellacor profile image

ellacor 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this with everyone. I am so sorry that this has happened to you.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Oh well, I am no worse off than before. For that I am grateful. It would have been bad if I had fallen for it.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 5 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Your actions, when faced with this check, show you to be a 'sure-footed' and straightforward sort of woman. I'm not sure I'd have the presence of mind.

Thanks for writing this.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks, Lorlie. But you know, it was hard. I really wanted to cash it....good thing I didn't.


Shuntoy Wills 5 years ago

This is the same scam that tried to use me to cash a check but my cousin told me not to do it was a scam!

Beaware of Peter Cole, Telezone LLC


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks, Shuntoy! The more info we can get out there, the better.


Nikolai 5 years ago

I have had this exact thing happen to me. Looking at a $3,680 check right now. same credit union same type of sketchy emails from a one (Barret Oliver) and i've had mixed feelings about it the entire time... its a shame I could really use the money. thanks for posting this


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

I know how you feel, Nikolai. I could have used the money too. It's a shame it wasn't a genuine job offer. I would encourage you to call the credit union and verify whether or not it's a valid check.


Steve 5 years ago

that's so disgusting!! i just got one of those checks today!! and me like everyone else out there could really use that kind of money at the moment.this world is so far gone now. can't wait until the Lord returns soon.


crystal  5 years ago

Wow sam


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

It's true most of us could certainly use the money. I feel bad for the people who actually cash the checks.


Manny Luciano 5 years ago

Wow I just received a check a couple of days ago thru fedex. I tried to cash the check and they told me it was coutnerfeit. Seems like this scam is becoming more popular. I saw the listing off Craigslist and they contacted me to do jobs for him because they were out of the country and his wife was pregnant, Rany and Janet Hooper. They came off as very religious and had me speak to their "financial advisor." I'm glad I wasn't able to cash the check and find out later it was no good. This sucks.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

The more people who learn about it, the less likely these scam artist will be able to pull their tricks.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Glad you were so vigilant. Thanks for telling this story. Voted up and useful and shared so that others can know about this type of scam.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks, toknowinfo. You know, at the time I wanted that check to be real. I needed the job. It just didn't feel right.


Family Man 5 years ago

I had almost the same problem. We got the check as promised but it didn't look real and something didn't feel right. I googled chevron federal credit union and saw this story, the check is exactly the same done to the check and routing number. I called the credit union and it is fake. My family and I are saddened that the job isn't real but thankful that we found out before we cashed the check and put ourselves in more of a financial bind. Thanks for the info.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

I know what you mean, family man. It's hard on people who need the money and think they have found a job.


Toon 5 years ago

I got a check the other day with the exact same signature, thank you for this information!


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

You're welcome, Toon. Wish the check was genuine!


Rachel Adonii 5 years ago

I got a similar check today, and got suspicious. Thank you for this post! It came up when I googled for money scams. I was shocked to see that the check I got looked exactly the same as the one you posted. I'm glad we didn't cash it. I found this on craigslist, where she said she'd pay me for tutoring her daughter. She sounded very religious and also quoted verses from the Bible. I wouldn't have trusted her if not for the verses she quoted. I was praying about this part-time offer and God protected me from this scam by making me stumble across your website! Thank you for posting this. I can't believe how people come up wi+th religious vocabulary to rip you off!


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

That's a new twist! What a shame it wasn't a real job offer for you.


Brandon Kelley 5 years ago

Wow You guys I think the same think is happening to me right now so I decided to google the the name dof the credit union and...What do you know...I found You.

Thank You sooooo much.

I would like to share with you some emails i've received.


marie 5 years ago

I have a cashier's check from "Chevron Federal Credit Union" sitting right here in front of me.. similar story, admin assistant job found on Craigslist. Thanks for sharing your story!


Leslie 5 years ago

BEWARE of jobs on Craigslist! No legitimate employer will send you checks in advance of a contract or work agreement.

I also received exact same kind of check today from "Synovate research" in New York. Immediately suspicious because there was no return address on envelope, and it was postmarked from the french speaking part of Canada. That didn't add up. Plus the check was from Chevron Federal Credit Union in the Bay Area, which serves employees of Chevron.

Do these scammers think we are all morons? Apparently 1 in 10 people believes this crap is real, sadly enough.

I reported this to the REAL Synovate Corporation, as well as to the FBI.

When job hunting or posting anything on Craigslist, beware. It's an international Wild West out there and the Nigerian scammers are the most insidious and organized of all.


upal19 profile image

upal19 5 years ago from Dhaka

This is horrible. I can't understand how they dare to do this type of scam and what they get out of this scam?


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

I know, upal19. What they get is money and the innocent person is left with the debt of cashing a bad check. It's shameful.


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hi, Karen,

This is a very important and informative hub, because there are a whole lot of scammers out there. I know because I have encounters with them quite frequently.

Recently, I received a phone call from a woman who had what appeared to be an eastern-European accent. She said, "I am Mary and I work for the treasury department".

What treasury department? I asked, deciding that I wound have little fun with her.

In broken English, she replied, "The American treasury department. And you have been selected to receive a grant of $7000 from the government".

To make a long story short, the woman told me that I would be paid the money in CASH, but in order to receive it, I would have to go to my local Western Union office and send them $200 to cover "processing expenses". And, as soon as they received that amount, the "treasury department" would wire me the $7000.

I told the woman that I would go to my local Western Union office right away and wire them the $200, and I hung up the phone after she thanked me.

Then, while wiping the incident out of my mind, I returned to writing the hub I was working on.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Great way to handle it, Feenix!


Guy 5 years ago

I'm another of the schemers victims. I received a check from a job offer was offered 600 hundred dollars and the rest of the money be sent to 2 other addresses. I went to the credit union they didn't issue cashiers check. My check also has the same signature you see in the picture above. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.


minutecreature profile image

minutecreature 5 years ago

Your hub is great and a very good warning to everybody!


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

They prey on people who are hopeful of a real job in these troubled economic times.


Michael Newport 5 years ago

This scam is running rampant on Craigslist right now. I called Chevron Credit Union and they are STILL working on it. Yeah, right. Don't think the attorney general or any of the fraud divisions in the U.S. have a clue on how to catch these people. They most likely don't even live in the U.S. If it sounds too good to be true, it's a scam. Just received my check this week. Luckily, I didn't cash it and was suspicious. Did you know you can actually be arrested for cashing the check? Great article on MSN today about it and it involves a TON of banks!


Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts 5 years ago from Indiana

I saw an ad for this scam on Freelancer.com a few days ago. Don't remember which category it was in but I read the listing to my husband and in unison we both said the word scam. It's sad that they prey on people that need the money and are actively looking for employment.


LADYGIRL profile image

LADYGIRL 5 years ago

Not only they try to scam you per employment. They will try to scam you through the e-mail,telling you, "I live in Africa and I need for you give your information, so I can wire money to you and I will give you half." You know it a shame how people try to use your personal information and use it as there own gain.


Randi 5 years ago

A similar thing happened to me today. I received a check traced back to TX and return address in WI. I saw your blog and called Chevron and in fact it was a fraudulent check. I had responded to a job ad on our local newspaper website here in SLC. It must be getting pretty bad if they are infiltrating our local newspapers to try and scam people. THe job was for a Will Hudson JR, Architect for a personal Assistant. Beware it is a scam.


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest Author

It surprises me they are still using the same techniques.


thierry 67 5 years ago

I was victim of the same scam. Unfortunately for me, I put this so called check on my account. My bank (wellsfargo) told me that the check was a counterfeit one. My bank froze all my accounts and it decided to close them. They don't want me as a customer anymore. I still have a hard to believe that it happened to me but it did. If you receive a check from Chevron Federal Credit Union, don't be stupid like me, think twice. I learned my lesson, I can tell you that


Nikit413 profile image

Nikit413 5 years ago

I received a similar check and since I wasn't expecting it decided to contact the bank and check it out. They were not helpful at all, could not answer any of my questions! They kept giving me more numbers to call and at the end basically told me they could not confirm nor deny the validity of the check. Then I found this post so I am sure its not a valid check, I wish the bank could tell me that. However since they can not tell me whether its real or not after speaking with several different people I think they should be responsible if I were to go ahead and cash it anyways considering they couldn't tell me if a cashiers check with their banks name on it was real or counterfeit! If they don't know the difference how is your everyday average person supposed to be able to tell?


greenbeetle 5 years ago

I have a check sitting in front of me that I just got from FedEx and was supposed to be for a "Mystery Shopper" job that I looked up in Google. I even looked the company's name up in Better Business Bureau. I cashed the first one and sent 90% of it to the address given as the "next mystery shopper" and now my bank is saying I owe the money back to them that I cashed from the first check, thinking that if this company was listed in the BBB then it is legit. You can't even trust the BBB anymore, obviously. Don't do the mystery shopper jobs that FedEx you a check that looks like this one!! It is identical!!


gaiamoore 5 years ago

I actually fell into this scam. I spent the money before I was even told that I was to send some of it back to them. The bank told me it was fraudulent and put a $500,000 hold on all of my assets. They also put a hold on my SSN, so I cannot cash checks anywhere (including the ones from my job). I cannot cash payroll checks anywhere, it gets declined as soon as I type my SSN in. I am actually working with a lawyer to sue the bank for taking 100% of my income and not letting me work out a payment plan with them. They are not allowing me any money to survive on.


mayhem221307 4 years ago

i just received a cashiers check in the mail via fed ex but with nothing else just a check for 3500 and received no emails or job offerings or anything of the sort. the routing number on the check did match up with the bank it is drawn on from a law office that does exist and from a remitter that apparently died in 1997. i am curious if it is real or not but none of the actual names or places seem to be able to tell me if it is real or not


madperson88 4 years ago

my account was closed because of a secret shopper scam and now im getting the doctor peter scam now im happy that i looked it up before really committed to anything im still upset about my account being forced closed and there was nothing i could do about it


Travelingblues 3 years ago

I have an identical check sitting on my desk right now... CREEPY! It has the same exact bank and signature on it. The check is for $2600.oo.

Summit Outsourcing LLC. emailed me to be a "mystery shopper" and fedexed me the check overnight. Their alias's today are Tom Mason MYSTERYSUPPORT@ME.COM 914-297-7866 (please give him a call LOL). 315-820-2006 and Christy Rice out of Cement City, MI.

Get the word out!


Travelingblues 3 years ago

WHOIS information for summitoutsourcingllc.com:***

[Querying whois.verisign-grs.com]

[Redirected to whois.web4africa.net]

[Querying whois.web4africa.net]

[whois.web4africa.net]

Registration Service Provided By: WEB4AFRICA

Domain Name: SUMMITOUTSOURCINGLLC.COM

Registration Date: 22-Jul-2013

Expiration Date: 22-Jul-2014

Status:LOCKED

Name Servers:

ns1.web4africa.com

ns2.web4africa.com

ns3.web4africa.com

ns4.web4africa.com

Registrant Contact Details:

None

Frances Jakubek (medianat@ymail.com)

67 Shore Road

Massachusetts

MA,01890

US

Tel. +1.3158201004


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

I am sorry you got caught up in the scam. It is a good thing you didn't cash that check.

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