IM Used to Scam Job Seekers

job interview 150x150 IM Used to Scam Job SeekersIf you’re unemployed, at least in the state of Washington, you have to log three or more job inquiries, contacts, or applications per week to receive benefits. A large majority of these are email or online.

So you might be excited to receive an email asking you to interview on Instant Messenger (IM). There’s just one problem. According to WorksourceWashington, emails like the sample below are scams. And I wouldn’t be surprised if versions of this email aren’t circulating all over the US.

Dear Job seeker,
We have reviewed your resume and believe you could qualify for this position. We have forwarded your resume to the Head of Operation. Mr. Thomas Miller of DOT SQUARES. He would like to conduct an online interview with you from Tuesday 19th April ,2011 between 9:00AM -4:00 PM EST to discuss more about the Job Position of DATA ENTRY/ ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPER position that you are yet to occupy.
Set up a Screen name with the Yahoo Instant Messenger online at and add up the Head of Operation screen name: thomasmiller110 to your buddy list.
His Screen Name with Yahoo Instant Messenger is: thomasmiller110
Email Address:
She will be waiting to talk to you on yahoo messenger right away. Endeavor to get online ASAP.
I wish you the best of Luck on the Interview. If you have any problem, Please feel free to email back.
Mr. Thompson Lopez.
Human Resource Dept

According to WorkSourceWashington, the scam artist will first gain your trust, and then ask you to cash a check or money order and send the balance back for “processing.” Processing what, I would like to know!

It’s the same old Nigerian Letter scam with a different variation. Once you’ve wired off your good money, your bank or credit union will learn that the check or money order was fraudulent. The missing funds are then subtracted from your account.

Note the substandard English in the email, with improper capitalization: “Job seeker,” “Head of Operation.” “If you have any problem” also does not sound right. Bogus emails frequently have spelling, grammar, and other usage errors. In addition, the email is addressed to a generic job seeker rather than using your name specifically.

What to do: 

  • If you receive an e-mail message similar to one above, DO NOT respond to it.
  • If, during the course of a job interview, someone asks you for money or to play banker for them, break off the communication and report it.
  • If you’ve already wired money, report the event to your local authorities, and/or the FBI’s Internet crime division at
  • Washington State residents report to WorkSourceWashington at
  • If wiring money to Canada should be involved, contact Phonebusters at 888 495-8501. Phishing emails can also be reported to the Department of Homeland Security at


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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.