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Women targeted in latest online scam

By Makeida Antonio

Residents have been again warned by the police to stay vigilant against online scammers.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Frankie Thomas told Observer that authorities have continued  efforts in urging social media users to safeguard their information from those who seek to exploit others.

On Saturday, one concerned Facebook user shared her experience involving a company advertising job vacancies. She alleged that the administrator of “Superior Employment Agency” exhibited subpar professionalism by asking for personal information which do not relate to the positions applied for.

“With how the world is treating women, I cannot leave this unaddressed. The company is a scam. The manager is disrespectful and very unprofessional. He doesn’t seem to have any clue how to run a company or how to treat his employees (women in particular),” she advised other Facebook users.

The resident further shared that she briefly worked for this company before realising that something was not right. When the individual was confronted about the alleged shady business practices, she was met with foul language during the interaction over the phone.

“I worked for him for 3 weeks before I clocked him for the unprofessionalism, disrespect and false contract. After which, he called me via WhatsApp.”

The Facebook user says that she has heard the same complaint from other women, where the man called outside business hours, asked for photos and demanded payment from applicants to acquire work uniforms.

“A number of women from across the Caribbean reached out to me reporting very similar experiences with this man calling at ungodly hours, requesting photos, asking them to send money for ‘uniforms and IDs.’ Now tell me which company that I am working for, I have to pay to wear their uniform?”

She continued her online post, questioning his refusal to go through appropriate meeting channels such as Zoom or WhatsApp.

She also said that he cited his reason for not using regular channels was on account of the Covid-19 protocols.

“Interviews are conducted over the phone, not video call. The reason the manager gives for this is “Covid-19″. (There’s Zoom, Google Meets, even WhatsApp Call). He sends you a contract to sign, but then he sends back a copy with his signature being a free downloadable font online (I know because I’m a designer… I recognize fonts). The font he’s using is called ‘caveat’.”

“Considering this … is the contract even legally binding?” she asked.

While this particular social media user wanted her post to be shared so that others do not fall into the same trap, another user commented that she fell for the scam.

“Big scam…. They told me to pay the $200.00 for uniforms, and because I told [them] that I would be coming with a police as witness, they told me that they no longer wanted my services.. lol..”

Another Facebook user commented that she thought that the company was a scam and the post provided significant details into the business operation.

“Someone reached out to me for my opinion about this ‘company’ and without nearly as much details as you just gave, I clocked it as a scam. Sorry you went through that though.”

Last year, the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) cautioned residents to stay alert for “new and increased” tactics used by crooks online during the pandemic.

ONDCP Director Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croft stressed that economic fallout from the pandemic would cause a surge in fraudulent online behaviour.

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