A couple weeks ago, there was an ad in our local paper looking for a personal care assistant. I studied it a bit sceptically, because the pay was more than you'd expect to see for the position. In the end, I applied, attaching a professional resume. I also provided my certification and licensure information.
I never heard anything back and figured that it was not for real.
Yesterday, I did receive a response. The response was from someone who does not speak English as a first language, provided a phony web address for their business. The fictitious name (Conti Fibre) is actually a brand name for a clothing fiber from the UK. They talked about a "mystery" job, telling me that once I provided them with more information about myself they would send me envelopes of cash which I was free to spend over the course of the mystery assignment, no questions asked. The only requirements to this job is that I was to follow the instructions provided with the envelope of cash very carefully.
My heart dropped. I had just provided a professional resume to a scammer. I looked over what I had sent, and was dismayed to note just how much personal information there is on a resume.
The fact is, had I seen this advertisement online, I would have never responded to it. I'd have figured it was a scam right away. But the fact that it was in our local paper meant to me that the people had to provide a name and address, as well as valid credit card information to place the ad.
Turns out that the ad was taken in the classified department of an affiliated newspaper, and was not properly verified. The ad was pulled after running one day, I suppose when the credit card did not process.
I feel that it's important to put some sort of disclaimer out there for others who were taken in by this ad, but the newspaper does not seem to feel that they are responsible, seeing as how the ad was not placed in their office. They did say that law enforcement would be involved at the point of origin, meaning that the investigation would be initiated by the office that took the ad.
I think that their response is disappointing, to be sure.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, and I can never quite understand how a person gets caught up in scams to begin with, so it is a little mindboggling to find myself in that position.
We got ID theft insurance through the Dave Ramsey show immediately. The only thing we can do is sit back and wait to see what happens next.