Unemployment # 3: Job Scams or Getting Money out of the Penurious

January 24, 2011 § 21 Comments

Scammers are the insipid, redneck cousins of savvy computer hackers; the Peeping Toms of all out serial stalkers. They’re not smart enough to break into your personal accounts, but damn, they’ll try to convince you in any way to give them your information: rent ads, porn, free shit on the internet, and spamming your Gmail like a Tommy-gun that just won’t listen.

Hell, they’ll even give you an interview–an attractive offer for desperate, lowly job seekers such as myself.

The other day I applied to a job in Seattle via Craigslist. It was under the Office/Admin link and was a simple description of an optical office in need of a receptionist. Like any admin job, I supplied my standard Craigslist cover letter which was something like this:

January 20, 2011

Re: Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am very interested in applying for the administrative assistant position advertised on Craigslist.

I have many years of customer service experience in the service industry as well as hospitality management. Along with a strong education and a professional background, I would bring to this position a keen eye for detail, writing and communication skills, and prior administrative and front desk experience.

The enclosed resume, pasted into the email and attached as a Word document, summarizes my background and experience. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you in greater detail.



T: (608) xxx-xxxx

(I’ll get into Cover Letter banality later).

I received this response from hollymarino@janiceoptical.com.

Dear Gxxxxxxxx,

After reviewing your résumé, we’d love to interview you.

Our corporate office, however, requires us to perform a background check and a credit check. Safely apply for your FREE credit check here . Do not send us any private or personal information, simply the VERIFICATION # which we need to schedule your interview. The background check is conducted during the interview.

We look forward to meeting you. Please e-mail us with any questions.

Holly Marino

Office Administrator


What Janice did right:

1. Spelling and grammar were both correct.

2. Supplied an actual website with an email to corroborate that website.

3. Told me not to send them personal information.

Why it was STILL suspicious: Although many jobs, especially corporate jobs, require background and credit checks, these are usually done during the hiring process and NOT before they’ve even met you.

What Janice Scumbag did wrong:

1. Told me not to send them personal information.

Typically anyone that sends you a link for a FREE anything is someone who wants your money or your identity. So the claim that they didn’t want any personal information told me that they all they wanted was personal information, maybe even my underwear drawer.

What a teeny bit of Internet RESEARCH found for me:

I checked out janiceoptical.com, it’s an actual existing website BUT it’s a WordPress website and signing up for a WordPress blog costs nothing (why else would I have one). Oh, and their “Contact” page is conveniently “under construction.”

Additionally, the company is not in the Yellow Pages and not searchable by Google. The free credit check website they sent me to was a legitimate site that provides legitimate reports, however, if you sign up “for free,” you’ll see in the fine print that they will charge you $14.95 per month for providing this credit check service. Having less that $4.83 in my bank account, I decided against a free credit check (especially when I know mine is shit anyway) and against an interview with “Janice Optical.”

I can now say that I have had bad interviews, canceled interviews, and fake interviews.

It’s best not to get scammed if you’re not making any money to begin with.


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§ 21 Responses to Unemployment # 3: Job Scams or Getting Money out of the Penurious

  • Chrissy says:

    Applied to the same posting however it was located in Vancouver. Received the exact same e-mail and after determining “Janice Optical” is not a real optical office, I am definitely not doing jack shit to follow up with these scammers. Grr.

  • joey says:

    I too received the same confirmation email, again wanting me to go for the credit check prior to meeting me. I’m glad I checked out this site before falling prey to this scammer. Why can’t these cheats be caught and something done about it? It appears about 1/3 of the employment ads on Craigslist are scammers. Be wary and be safe!

    • Brenda says:

      Ok so I fell prey to this scam by doing the free credit report, now what? do they have all my personal information? I don’t understand what they can get. Was the credit report sight not legit?

      Any information that you can give me is appreciated!

      • It’s a legit site that provides a service, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t try to get money every month for a service that need only be looked at once or twice a year. Call the customer service line for the credit report site and cancel anything you might have “accidentally” signed up for. Otherwise, you might find an unwarranted charge on your bank statement the following month(s).

  • Sade says:

    I have received the same email, thanks so much for posting this.

    After reviewing your resume, we’d love for you to come in for an interview.

    First, management REQUIRES us to run both background and credit checks for all potential employees. You will be handling sensitive information–the policy has been put into place in order to ensure the privacy of our clients’ information as well as company security.

    Click here to obtain your FREE credit check. The background check will be done in person, during the interview. Please, do not send any personal information. Simply send us the VERIFICATION #, so that we can schedule your interview.

    E-mail us with any questions,

    Holly Marino, Office Manager

    Janice Optical, Corp.


  • Kara says:

    Vancouver – Applied for the same position, same response, checked found the same unknown site.

    I notified Craigslist and recommend any and everyone do the same! There are also other reporting agency’s found on that page.

    Thanks for taking the time to post letting us know, really helped save another potential victim. The world is suffering enough without people scamming the poor, that is really wrong!!

  • sarah says:

    I got the same email this afternoon … with any craigs list response i do my home work before giving any personal information out. I really do feel sorry for anyone that fills out that credit check they could have spyware en-bedded in the link.

  • Sabrina Welch says:

    I actually just got the same thing and just did the credit check. Sooooo, now what? Obviously that was not a good thing to do???? I didn’t check them out until just now. After getting excited for the job!

    • I would sign into your credit check account, call the customer service line, and cancel your new “membership” immediately. Even if you didn’t realize you signed up for anything, you probably did.

      As far as any personal information or credit card information, you can report to the authorities or maybe ask your bank if there’s anything you can do.

  • Sabrina Welch says:

    I didn’t give them any personal information. I did when I signed up for the credit check. But I did not give any to the janice optical people.

    • I would definitely call the customer service line and cancel anything you might have signed up for by accident. Check out related scam site information. I’m not an expert on victims of scams, just spotting the scams themselves. I don’t think “optical” would have access to any of your information if you didn’t send them anything, but you don’t always know. Good luck.

  • Denise says:

    I recieved the same reply twice, first time was before I sent in my resume and cover letter asking them what city they were located since they only told me they were located in Clark county in Washington. they sent me this automated reply thanking me for sending my resume and that they would love to interview me. that should have been a red flag there, but I figured that with this economy that they probably had a lot of resumes sent in and couldn’t personally reply to everyone so they set up this automated reply. then I sent in my cover letter and resume and again recieved the same automated reply. Asking me for the verification number really threw me off guard and sent flaring red flags. So I googled the business name and there is a Janice H. thats an optomitrist that works at Honey Bee Eye Care, I don’t think she has any part of this scam, but was rather coincidence. So I was thinking that the business was legit, but still asked them for their business name and address cause i wanted to whitepage the business and get the phone number for myself and call the business and confirm that they were hiring and posted the job on craigslist. But I haven’t had another response in the las week since I’ve asked them two or three times. But I did fall to the free credit check report, which I’m glad is legit, but now I have to go through the painstacking task to convince them to cancel my membership. I just hope that they can’t get my info through creditreport.com that worries me. thing is that they ask for verification number, but on creditreport.com I wasn’t given a verification number, just a membership ID number. Is that the same thing?

    • I don’t know if the membership ID number is the same as the verification #. You could certainly ask the customer service line for the credit report check as to whether or not any of your information may have been released (though I would assume not). My guess this is a standard job scam email and perhaps on different credit sites, a Verification # is actually given.

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find anyone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is one thing that’s wanted on the net, someone with somewhat originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  • Denise says:

    Hey Everyone, I fell prey to this Janice Optical scam and I actually did do the credit report thing. Now I can’t remember the name of the credit report people so I can cancel my “membership” help anyone?

  • Porn says:

    Can I simply say what a aid to search out someone who truly knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know how one can bring a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals must read this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant consider youre not more popular because you positively have the gift.

  • Mar says:

    I’m glad I did my research first too. The email I received from Holly Marino asking for a credit check before I met with them alerted me. Tricky bitches! I see you.

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  • Poker says:

    When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  • Very descriptive blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be a
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