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A Popular Scam Moves Offline and Into Your Mailbox

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Every so often, a story comes in that I find almost impossible to believe. This story came in about a week ago and luckily had pictures. I’ll let you just read it for yourself.

Steve,

You’re not going to believe this.

I checked my mail today as I was walking into my apartment, and I got a letter in a plain envelope with no return address located on it. Curious, I opened it, thinking – no, knowing – it was junk mail of some sort. The handwriting was so neat it was ridiculous, and I immediately realized why there were advertisements for people with neat handwriting to write out addresses on envelopes all over Craigslist. I don’t know if it’s savvy or sad that I no longer trust my mailing system.

I cannot read the stamp from the postmark on the envelope. I can only tell you it was postmarked Feb 23, 2010. That being said, on the inside I found a “newspaper article” from Columbus, Ohio printed on real newspaper. The date on the newspaper is February 9, 2010. The newspaper has no name; in fact, in the center where the name of the paper would be, it just says “Special Report.” Count that as clue number 2 that something is wrong.

There’s a sticky note attached to the paper in very neat handwriting. It says “Kinya, you gotta see this…it sounds really cool! I thought you might be interested too. J.” Do I have to tell you I don’t know anyone that goes by that letter? Just in case you were wondering, I don’t. Nor do I know anyone who would mail me a piece of newspaper with no page numbers located on it anywhere.

Starting to see the picture?

Getting to the point, the newspaper article is about a company located at www.homejobplacement.net. They claim to be able to place you at a job at home where you can make a ridiculous amount of money a day. Yawn, bore. You know the drill. It’s a scam. But what got me is that they went through the effort of actually making this look legitimate – or at least trying to. First off, it’s printed to look like a real newspaper article. Quite impressive. Secondly, the article states testimony from a woman named Sally who warns “Watch out for those sites that promise you’ll make millions overnight. With Home Job Placement you’re NOT going to make millions. Who else is going to tell you that? But you are going to get certified fast, be offered a real position immediately, and make a great income with much less work. And you’ll never have to worry about getting laid off or looking for a job ever again.” By the way, the capitalization is theirs, not mine. Which brings me to my third point: what journalist would capitalize a word in the middle of a sentence for emphasis? That’s what italics is for. Even a student journalist knows this. Tacky much?

Attached are pictures of the paper. The quality is quite crappy, as my Blackberry Curve only pretends to be able to take good pictures, but rest assured that the evidence is solid. You can clearly see I am not making this up. Does anyone see a consistent problem here? If you do, you get a Scooby Snack.

[Steve edit: here are the attached pictures: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six.]

Please note that the article states the following, and I quote (grammatical errors are conveniently included for your amusement):

  • “The placement company, Home Job Placement, is one of the most successful online job placement firms in the U.S. They have helped over 16,493 people find legitimate work-at-home jobs.” Really? They have? How come nobody’s ever heard of them?
  • “Sally proudly showed us one of her most recent checks from the job she got through Home Job Placement.” (Picture is attached.) Why is the check dated back in August of 09? If that’s recent then the author of this article has a Delorean he needs to share with the rest of the world.
  • “When we found out how how easy it was to become certified as Auction Listing Specialists, it took away all the stress and worry, and showed us exactly how to make tons of money every day just by posting simple listings on eBay for companies like Microsoft, Compaq, IZOD, Calvin Klein, and Apple.” If these companies are hiring and job placement is so easy then why is unemployment still at an all-time high?
  • “The fact that you’re working with eBay means a lot. You can never get fired by such a big company. And this is something you can do part time, even if you only have a few hours to spend a day.” Raise your hand if you quit buying stuff off of eBay when the recession hit. Raise both hands if you stopped doing it before then. And if you think eBay is hiring anybody to list auctions on their site, you might as well be drunk on the couch laughing at reruns of Bud Light Superbowl commercials. Go grab a beer.
  • “From our research, Home Job Placement is the best of the best. In just four steps anybody can secure a home job and start earning.” Thank you Staff Writer George Liechty Finance & Jobs. I know who you are through reputation, since you have written for dozens of other nameless newspapers throughout the nation. I trust you based on this one simple fact alone.
  • “Since it takes only 3-4 minutes per posting and the provide everything you need, you can begin making up to $75 an hour immediately! And you get paid fast!” You’ve got to be either high or gullible to believe that statement. Or both. If making $75 a hour was that easy, everyone would be doing it, and there would be no recession.

My intelligence feels so insulted. It is literally banging its head against the walls of my skull, weeping for the fate of mankind. Or it would, if I weren’t laughing so hard. Seriously? You expect to sell me a scam through a newspaper article mailed to me by a person who’s only known by a letter? Last time I checked, Division 6 wasn’t supposed to exist. And speaking of not existing, I’m going to go flashy-thing myself. When I wake up, I’m going to be just as I was before: sleepy, happy, freelancing and counting the days until “Alice in Wonderland” comes out in theaters.

Just five more days.

Thanks Kinya for sharing.

By the way, how was Alice in Wonderland?

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6 Comments

  1. Christopher H. says:

    I am a computer geek here in Microsoft town, Washington State. I am trying to find work doing something online. My wife passed along this newspaper article about this Home Job Placement thing for me to check out. It looks really authentic on the surface. I also know of some people who do post stuff on Ebay for businesses, so I know it’s a feasible occupation. I checked out the site, wanting to be sure of their legitimacy before jumping in and was fortunate enough to be totally thorough in my research. I couldn’t find the name of the newspaper in the article, only that it was from Columbus, Ohio. I asked my wife which friend sent it to her, but she wasn’t sure. I couldn’t think of anyone we knew in Columbus, Ohio. I googled the author of the article, staff writer George Leachy, and found this website explaining the details of this scam.
    I’ve done much SEO and E-Commerce type work in the past. So, I’m fairly familiar to the many scams you find on the internet and this one almost got me! It looked like a real newspaper article! I can imagine that this does catch the average Joe who doesn’t have the experience on the internet that I have. It is well put together.
    Thanks so much for having this info posted. You saved me the $197 I would have lost on this scam.

    Reply
  2. yup just got the same thing today… I thought it was a very impressive way to advertise. Not buying it and yes the company is a farce but I still thought it was clever!

    Reply
  3. I recieved this offline mail inside it is an article by one George Liechty, a staff writer of a newspaper that has no name in Columbus,Ohio. at the back page is stock market report. Well thank God for checking things out before jumping into it.Thanks for the Spirit of God the Guidiance that always witness with the inners spirit.
    No matter how perfect you are, if not God anybody can fall prey.
    Pls. let the public know and be enlighten of this well pefect scams.
    Thanks.
    Peter.

    Reply
  4. I receive trash like this all the time. They are using tricks to become more and more convincing. They want to appeal to people who think that you can just sit home, do very little work and money will come piling into your bank account.

    Reply
  5. Agree that this is incredibly valuable information. Will be interesting to see the kind of volume this direct mail is doing because direct mail is notoriously difficult and risky, so there would have to be some serious direct mail intelligence behind this offline operation if they are doing it on a large scale.

    Reply
  6. Wow, Kinya. Thanks for going to all the trouble to write that up and send your photos. Steve, you should hire the woman!

    Reply

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