I was contacted by a scammer on WhatsApp claiming to represent Hays recruitment and offering me an online job vaguely connected with SEO and apps. I behaved like an idiot and sent moronic replies to test her resolve. 😆
Whenever there’s a crisis, scammers are among the first to take advantage of the vulnerability felt by people facing or already experiencing terrible financial situations.
During COVID, for example, we saw an uptick in romance scammers on Tinder looking to capitalize on desperate loneliness and going on to be rather successful in their goal of emptying bank accounts worldwide. 😷
Furthermore, delving deep into the murky underworld of Hong Kong WhatsApp scammers revealed an entire economy around people pretending to help investment fraud victims recover their funds. 😶
As more misery sweeps the world, fraudsters are once again demonstrating their ability to mastermind unconscionable and manipulative criminal schemes. My account of this fake job scammer is but one of hundreds like it.
Fake Online App Review and Rating Job
Several individuals messaged me on WhatsApp offering work-from-home employment based loosely around SEO and apps. It was related to writing reviews and upvoting online software products. Apparently, I could make as much money as I wanted, depending on how much time and effort I put in.
Now, I have worked online on something similar in the past (rating Google search queries) so the concept is not unprecedented, and paid Chinese fake click/upvote farms absolutely do exist, but the manner in which I was contacted was suspicious. And amateur.
Naturally, some cursory Googling revealed plenty of anecdotes on run-ins with recruitment scammers. I’m curious to know if anyone has actually fallen for this because it seems most people delete, block and move on. 🤔
Key Characteristics of Fake WhatsApp Job Ads
This scammer used the name “Joyce”. The dense paragraphs of copy/paste fake technical job description jibber jabber she unloaded on me were scattered among tedious, insincere pleasantries barely disguising a planned sequence of events obviously designed to result in a dodgy online transaction. I hate these people.
If this thing operates anything like the investment scams, you can bet any supposed job “earnings” would be stored on some website which you would need to pay “taxes” on in order to withdraw. Robbed and ghosted! 🤑
A few key points on Joyce:
- She was using a phone number with a UK country code
- She claimed to work for Hays Recruitment
- She sent a short recorded voice message
- She refused a voice call
So, did this person’s plan to deceive me succeed? Nope!
I did what anyone does when they want to generate cheap comedy material: I wasted her time, played the fool, and strung her along until one of us either got bored or turned nasty.
Fake Job WhatsApp Conversation: Joyce Vs. Darren
Joyce: “Hello! I’m Joyce, I got your number from recruiting form Hays Recruitment.”
Darren: “Please proceed in explaining how I may unlock my potential with the keys to success and look to the future in achieving my dreams!”
Joyce eventually stopped responding to my replies. Days later, I received another message from another stranger claiming to be hiring for a job I also had never heard of and also don’t care about.
And on it goes…