Scam ensnares local resident

A SCAM has surfaced in the form of a legitimate-looking classified ad for a job.

AMBER Aloisio

AMBER Aloisio

A SCAM has surfaced in the form of a legitimate-looking classified ad for a job.

The ad claims to be looking for an executive assistant for “a busy CEO of a well established small business” and includes an email address to apply for the job; however, as one resident found out the hard way, it’s too good to be true.

Amber Aloisio replied and, after receiving an email from the company, Tint Ceramics, was so confident she’d get the job that she quit her full-time job here.

“They sent me a really nice well-thought out, well-written email about what the job’s tasks would include and said if interested, email us back, so I did,” said Aloisio.

Then she received another email that said employment papers would be sent to her and a later email indicated the CEO would be in town soon to finalize things and that she would be doing two hours of work a day for the next couple of weeks.

After not receiving any employment papers in the mail for a few days, she started to get suspicious and did some digging on the internet.

She found an article from the Comox Valley Record saying police there were investigating a job scam.

“…and I just wrote off the job,” she said.

But then the employment package arrived in the mail.

The package included a money order for $2,500 that appeared to be real.

Aloisio said that while she had not received any instructions regarding the email, an on-line story she found indicated that companies want people to cash the money order, keep a small amount as pay and then send the remainder back to the company.

“So essentially it’s a fraud bank draft,” said Aloisio, adding that when the bank draft was discovered to be fake, she would be left responsible for paying the bank back the full amount.

“A friend applied for a customer service job and got the exact same emails as me,” she said, about another job posting by the same company.

The information Aloisio received said a new company outlet would be put in on Straume Ave. but the information her friend received from the same people said it would be on Lazelle Ave.

“I checked out the [company] webpage and the links are all dead and suppliers’ [links] are all dead,” she said.

The Comox story indicated that the scam originates out of Africa, she said.

“If the newspaper in Comox figures it out, why is the site still up? Why are we still printing this ad up here? How are they still in business? This should’ve been taken care of. It should’ve been stopped instead of moved more north,” she said. “My whole life is just flipped upside down.”

The anti-fraud people told her to write “fraud” on the money order and not to correspond with the company anymore, she said.

She wants other people to be aware of this scam so they can avoid going as far with it as she did. “Don’t quit your job for sure until you know you have a job,” she said.