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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24046
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I am a British pensioner of the Russian origin living in Spain.

Resolved Question:

I am a British pensioner of the Russian origin living in Spain. Few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Yuliamall sent to me as a person registered on the site ProZ.com Member <*****@******.***, serving freelance translators. The e-mail was advertising a part time job in Southampton where I lived and worked before moving to Spain. I requested a job description and got a reply from Garik Bogonosov stating the follows: '' My wife and I are relocating to the UK. We currently need the services of someone to act as our Personal assistant prior to our arrival.The duties as our personal assistant would be to assist us in basically anything we are required to do prior to our arrival which may range from Planning trips,Arranging Airport Pickups,Pay bills,Booking train tickets,Vehicle Hire,Vehicle Insurance,Booking Hotels & General assistant. We are offering is Five Hundred Pounds per week''. In another e-mail Mr Bogonosov wrote: '' Before i arrive, there are a couple of things that needs to be done which include. Hotel reservation,Travel Insurance,Car rental & Arrange pick up at the airport. The travel/Health insurance is handled by an Agent in London which you will be sending payments to while the Hotel Reservation,arranging pick-up from the airport and the car rental will be sorted out by you. Hence your primary duty would be to receive payments that will serve this purpose.
A check would be posted to you to enable you have funds for this''.
Is it normal that in 21st century people moving to another country do need a stranger to arrange simple things for them and to pay their bills to an agent in London (does it exist?) with a promise to send a cheque (!!!) with the reimbursement?
I have refused to do anything prior to the necessary fund transfer to my account without giving out my account details, so by no means I am a victim of this scam, but this kind of messages might have been sent to many other members of the ProZ, some of them tempted by the potential 'gain'. Is there any way to report on the crime that obviously has not been committed as far as I am concerned?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.

This is a job scam and it's well that you've walked away from it. There is no reason this business couldn't process his own funds if his business was legitimate. You can deposit checks to your account no matter where they were drafted.

There is only one reason people reach out and offer jobs like this, and it is to find innocent pawns through whom they can launder their stolen funds. No legitimate business processes their own funds through an employee's personal account and then asks that the monies be withdrawn and wired elsewhere.

What will happen is that the checks you receive will all turn out to be forgeries. But they will take 2 to 3 weeks to bounce. By that time, it's expected that you will have withdrawn funds and wired them off per your "employer's" instructions. The wire transfers will be instantaneous and irreversible. If you send the money own via Western Union or MoneyGram, they will also be untraceable.

In any account, once the checks bounce, you won't be able to find your "employe" and neither will the owners of the checks, who will come looking for YOU when they realize they've been swindled, since all of the illegal activity will trace only to you. If your withdrawal creates an overdraft, it is YOUR liabiility. Laws in this area protect your bank. You would have a legal cause of action against your "employer" for reimbursement if you could find them. But you won't, of course. They don't really exist.

Meanwhile, your bank can also turn the matter over to a prosecutor and have you charged with bank fraud. And it could be up to a jury as to whether or not you actually knew that what you were doing was illegal.

You want to report this fraud to your police and cease any and all contact with your employers.

You can read warnings about check processing frauds here:

http://www.justanswer.com/expert/qa.aspx?src=pql&sso=1&T=15542056
Zoey, JD, Criminal lawyer
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 24046
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and other Fraud Examiner Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Zoey,

thank you very much for your quick and clear answer, you certainly deserve credit for it. It was a good service, for which I have paid the asked price. However, during my first attempt to rate your service I was redirected to a site demanding an additional tip for it and now I see 'add bonus' button. These hidden charges I find absolutely unacceptable - lawyers are not waiters or taxi drivers with their dependence on the tips. If the existing fees are not sufficient, they simply should be increased.

Moreover, the Just Ask site is organized in such a way, that one can suspect that a subscription would be imposed on its users in future as there is no easily found button (if there is any) to refuse such subscription. I am sorry to tell it but this, together with unwanted offers from Just Ask, have caused me to cancel my debit card and mark the Just Ask site as a spam. All this has nothing to do with your service which I appreciate, but I hope you would agree that the site used to contact you and your colleagues should not infuriate people.

Kind regards

Irina

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
As far as site advertising is concerned those of us who answer legal questions here have nothing to do with memberships or promotional opportunities. If you feel the site is heavy-handed about that, the best place to register your complaint would be with customer service. You could reach them at***@******.***

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