Scam Alert: Bait and Switch Fake Check Job Scam


A WAHS reader contacted me this week about a job she’d applied for. Initially, she was asked to edit some material on a trial basis, which she did. But then she was told they weren’t hiring for editing and instead asked if she’d be a representative in dealing with PayPal payments. She immediately thought something was fishy, partly because the items she’d edited involved money transfers into a representative’s account and then the representative sending the money back to the company in Poland. So she reached out to me for my opinion.

My opinion is that this is a fake check scam. What isn’t clear to me is if the company is doing the scamming (it appears to be a wholesale retail site in Poland) or if the scammers are spoofing the company (pretending to be from the company).

The most important thing to remember is that legitimate companies NEVER ask employees to use their personal bank (or PayPal) account to help the company do business.

Here is a copy of the email the WAHS reader received (identifying information has been removed). I’ve highlighted the red flags.

The position is in details: The work takes less than 1 hour per day (2-3 days a week).
The process is in the following:
1. We sell an item at auction and receive the payment from a buyer to your Paypal account.
2. We confirm the delivery of the item by providing the delivery proof such as tracking number and company.
3. Once the money is available, You will withdraw the money from your PayPal account to your bank account to be able to take it for sending to us.
4. We will give you the instructions with contains a calculation, how to send the money to us and how much.
5. In the instructions You will see in details: Your 5% commissions, paypal fees, transfer fees, and everything else necessary with it.   We pay all expenses ourself and You don’t have to cover any of expenses.
You have a fixed monthly salary – $1500 USD and a 5% interest from each signle deal.The interest is paid at once You accept the payment. A salary – once a month.

Requirements:Full name:Your phone number: (available any time during the day, with no voice machine)Your Home address: (P.O.Box is not acceptable)PayPal e-mail: (same as PayPal login) it should be Verified with limits lifted.PayPal account creation date (year enough):

Attention!You must  send yours contact details to our sales specialists e-mail address: (email address removed).               They will process your information and then call You to confirm of yours details.
You should have ‘Verified’ PayPal account with transfer, withdrawal and receiving limits lifted.The best way to lift any possible limits – contact PayPal and ask them to lift all of them.
We will pay You for editing earlier, the 1st payment accepted for a sale will include the payment for texts – $160.We are waiting for the required details from You, then we will give You the rules for your studying and confirmation.

LAST STEP:A phone interview with You and You will start working from the same day.

P.S. Please remember, if you agreed, that you must send yours contact details to the new email: (email removed)


The really disturbing thing about this email, is that it lured in the victim from what appeared to be a legitimate job (editing), and then after she did some work, they switched the job.

What’s important for you to remember is that knowing how to spot a scam is the first step in staying safe from scammers. Here are some articles you should check out about scams to help you stay safe.

How to Stay Safe from Scammers

Scam Alert: How to Avoid Scams

8 Work-At-Home Scams to Watch Out For

How to Know if It’s a Legitimate Job or Scam

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

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