If it’s too good to be true…

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? “ Well, lately I have found that it isn’t just a saying that has been engrained in society, people actually say it for a reason.
For the past few weeks I have been actively seeking work. I have been scrounging the internet applying to any and all job posting that I feel I might qualify for and to my dismay have not gotten a single response in return, except when the company tells me they have already filled the position.
Bad news is always depressing and being unemployed can be equally so. I have my good days and my bad days, but I keep trucking through hoping for that one perfect position that will pay me a good amount of money so I can afford the finer things in life. Forget the finer things in life, actually right now I am just hoping to be able to pay my bills. Imagine my surprise when a friend turned me on to a website called Upwork.com, a freelance work site where employers post projects that they need done in various areas of specialty form graphic design to administrative support. This sounded like the perfect thing for me, a job where I can be my own boss, pick and choose the projects I want to bid on, and work from home at my leisure.
Shortly after signing up for the website I was contacted by a potential employer. The job sounded great so very soon after that I was signing a three-month contract to do some administrative support work for their company. They were willing to pay me $25 dollars an hour to work for them. I thought my prayers had been answered until things started smelling a little fishy.
After signing the very vague contract, I did not hear back from them for nearly two weeks. Though I was in contact with the employer by text, he was not supremely responsive. I had questions about procedure and day to day activities I would be taking over since he was traveling so much. I wanted desperately to speak with him on the phone, but he was never available. This began to put many questions in my mind about the person I was working for. Nervous that I had gotten in over my head, I waited it out. Then just the other day he contacted me and said he needed me to start work. First thing he wanted me to do was deposit a check that a client was sending me from a previous business transaction. When I received the email, I found that the check was blank except for the amount. The check was also made out to me. My employer wanted me to print out the check, fill it out and sign the back and then deposit it into my own account.
Right there were several red flags that this potential employer was in fact just a scam artist trying to get money. After further investigation I also found out that the credit union that the check was supposedly drawn on was not real either. I was smart enough to refuse to do business with this person unless it was a legitimate check to the company and I was given a business account to deposit it in. Of course, being a scam artist the person wanted nothing more to do with me once I refused to deposit it in my personal account.
So the lesson I learned here is, “If it’s too good to be true, then it definitely is.” Trust your gut and never, ever accept money from strangers that then want you to use your personal account to handle the money. It’s sad that we have to be so distrusting, but if honest people like myself can potentially be scammed, so can anyone out there.

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