There is a scam targeting resume writers that began circulating last week. Colleague Laina Krisik alerted me to the scam -- here is her correspondence with me -- and my response.
I received an e-mail the other day that's just not sitting right with me. The subject line read, "YOUR SERVICES!!!!!!!!!!" and the e-mail was cryptic-like asking about my services and charges. I replied with a brief e-mail stating that I'd like to see her resume and cover letter to see what kind of work needed to be done. I also asked her how she heard of me. Below was her response:
Am very much happy to read back from you and okay with the charges for the pages in which am sure it will be well prepared,easy and well understood by the reader.
Again,am presently undergoing ear sugery in which will be kind of hard to hear you clearly.we can easily communicate via email and i will answer all your question.
Therefore let me know the charges for the attached resume and Kindly get back to me with information below:
1: Your Full Name to be on the payment
2: Your Address and zip code
3: Your cell phone number
So i can instruct my financial secretary to issue out the full payment as soon as possible for the service.Do note that you will not release it to me not until have the payment with you.
I will need your immediate response via email assuring me that i can trust you to handle this with care
Here is my response to Laina:
My gut instinct is similar to the uneasy feeling you got: RUN!
There is no way you should need to give a prospective client this information before you've even decided on a quote.
It reminds me of similar "phishing" (scam) emails that restaurants in this area have received. "We want to order $1000 worth of food for a party. Please send us information on where to send payment." Then, they send more than the amount owed, with instructions (because the payment is coming from a third party) to "send a check for the overage amount to 'x.") When you deposit the check, the funds won't clear, and if you've sent a check for the "overage," they'll have stolen that amount, and you'll also be out the insufficient funds fee from your bank for their original payment not clearing.
That's the reason to communicate via email too and not by phone. Many of these scammers are based in Africa.
I would just NOT REPLY again. Move on to more fruitful waters!!
After seeing reference to this same "client" on several profession E-Lists, my suspicions are confirmed. This is a variation on the classic "mystery shopper" and "employment" scams, where you are "paid" but then asked to send money to the individual (or their agent). Many jobseekers have been caught up in these types of scams -- resume writers need to beware, so you aren't caught up in one too!