LB Estates (www.lbestates.com) / FRAUD - Scam Job
Employees: Annie Berg (HR) & Henry Edleman (HR-Manager) (email: email@example.com)
These people contacted me about a Customer Service job which was posted on HotJobs. They pose as a Customer Service "Work at home". I tried to get more information & couldn't find anything negative so I foolishly "bit". I tried to contact them for what I would need to do ahead of time for set up & they assured me to just contact them just before I start my training for all necessary paperwork...then the ball fell when I finally got that from them. They wanted ME to accept payments from their clients (for them) and then turn around & send them money from MY personal account. As I said in my final email to them, if they were truly reputable, then THEY would have a company account & wouldn't ask ME (especially since part of my "training" would be to actually process a complete transaction) to jeopardize my own accounts. I have yet to hear from them. But below are the emails I got from them & then my final comments (which, as I said, have yet to be addressed by them...can we say SCAM?!?!)
Here is their "pitch"
Yahoo HotJobs u your application has been approved.
On behalf of LB Management I would like to thank you for taking the time to apply for a position of Customer Service Representative. Now that we have taken your application further I would like to briefly clarify some of the key points related to the job offer. More detail will be revealed later in the employment agreement.
Job Title: Customer Service Representative
LB Management company information: We are a leading international property Investment Company based in USA dedicated to supporting investors in the world_s emerging property markets. To become familiar with our products and services please refer to our website at http://www.lb-estates.com
Job Location: This is a home-based position. Travel/relocation is not required. You can work from anywhere just as long as you have access to the Internet.
This role involves:
o Provides exceptional customer service at all times.
o Online property database management;
o Filing and Data Entry;
o Updating information on existing properties which are currently for sale;
o Assist with customer queries via email;
o General administrative tasks
o Preparing correspondence, weekly/monthly reports and miscellaneous documents.
Working hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm (your local time zone).
Salary: $56, 000 annually. Paid monthly by direct deposit.
Benefits: Medical and dental insurance; Disability benefits; Life insurance; Paid Vacation.
Further Hiring Process: We are offering you a position within our company on a trial basis for two weeks. At the completion of the trial period, your supervisor can recommend continued employment, extension of trial period, or termination. During this trial period you will be receiving training and online support while working and being paid. (During the trial period you will be paid biweekly, $1, 000 per week.)
Next Step: In order to proceed please submit your Cell/Landline phone numbers via email (by replying to this message) and confirm that it_s correct and up-to-date. I assume that you would be able to start working as soon as possible. Please confirm this. Also, during the next several weeks, please keep me informed of any deadlines that you may be facing (i.e. pending job offers, current employment obligations). Thank you once again and feel free to email me any questions that you may have at this point.
HR Department Manager
Thanks for confirmation.
Next Step is to download the Probation Period policy:
MS Word: http://www.lbestates.com/doc/agreement_FT.doc
Please read carefully, complete, sign, and forward back to me either via email or by fax (+1.646.395.1436)
I will be your supervisor during the probation period. For the commencement date, please choose any date that is convenient for you but not later than 2 weeks from now. If you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
HR Department Manager
How are you? Hopefully you’re fine. On Tuesday you're going to start your training and you’ll actually have to do quite a few assignments, so let’s get started.
To begin with you must realize what my job is about. As a matter of fact I own a local coffee shop with Internet access, though can easily continue my employment with LB Management.
I work in close contact with the Customer Service Representative (i.e. you) and our team of in-house and freelance staff. You are the first to keep me informed of any payments sent to me by investors, providing all relevant payment information and contact details required to handle the transaction. Once I receive the payment I’m supposed to forward it further to our company account in the US or some other destination as assigned.
I do not receive basic salary as I work on a commission fee basis. If I’m absent you’ll be handling transactions on my behalf each earning you up to 7% per transaction (depends on funds destination). I use my business bank account to receive payments from customers, so if you own a business you’ll be able to use your business account, otherwise you can use your personal bank account.
During your trial you are supposed to handle at least one transaction. Let me make this point very clear using our current assignment as an example. LB Management needs to receive a deposit payment for the property located in Prague (Czech Republic). The buyer has confirmed that the payment is scheduled to go through within these few coming days. Once the transfer is made and funds are available in my account I have to forward it to the property owner in Czech.
Normally it’s done via bank transfer. But sometimes property owners prefer another way of receiving funds - money transfer systems like MoneyGram or Western Union. In such cases I have to physically withdraw cash from my bank account and then send it to the assigned destination via Western Union or MoneyGram. I’m yet to hear back from them as to which method of payment they prefer.
LB management provides an escrow services for the investors – that’s why these transfers are not being made directly to the property owners.
Anyway you should be able to send payment using any of the above methods, and here’s what we’ll do to avoid possible mistakes.
1) You need to find the nearest locations of both MoneyGram and Western Union and email their addresses and phone numbers to me.
2) You should call your bank to find out:
How much you can withdraw from your account per day (via ATM and in person via the counter). The limits may be too low without you even knowing it, so please check this out.
Check with your bank if you can make international transfers and how much this will cost you.
If wire transfer has been made - does it go directly to your bank account or does it go thorough the correspondent bank?
3) I will provide the client with the banking details of yours for the transfer I’ve mentioned earlier so the details required from you are as follows:
Your Local Bank branch address:
Account holder name:
Account type (checking, savings etc.):
4) I’ll need your current address to complete all necessary paperwork for the hiring process.
By giving me your account information you also agree with the following:
The Company will not reveal your details; and will only remit agreed funds to the account at the times and dates specified prior each transaction. The Employee will not attempt to use any of the Company funds – even though they are properly insured against theft - other than those deposited in relation to the employment as agreed remuneration, and commissions.
I will also provide your details to our head office so they could arrange your first salary payment.
Email me back as soon as you gather the required information.
Final Email (from me-which is to this date, has not been answered by Henry or Annie...so much for their legitimacy!) :
I am going to decline this position. I was NOT made aware that this was to be a job I had to open my personal bank account to LB Management transactions. I do not do this. I feel a company should have their own bank account to do their transactions with. Especially since I would be on probation, I feel it is wrong to ask me to do such a thing. I don't feel it right to have to expose myself to these situations. I wish you had made this information available up front so that you & I didn't lose time. I feel I have now lost a few days searching for a job as I thought I had one, and now you don't have this employee. This really needs to be put in the job descriptions, so that you actually get people who are willing to take these kinds of risks.