Scam? Or Missed Opportunity?

I hit job-search sites pretty regularly, looking for new opportunities, whether full-time editing or part-time freelancing. So yesterday afternoon I applied for a contract “Editor Manager” position—a job title I’d never heard of before, perhaps my first clue—for an unnamed company. At 2:39 a.m. I got the job (the following text was cut-and-pasted directly from the email, unedited):

Your application has been reviewed and accepted, you are are suitable for the job.

I will send you first text to correct today as you condirm you are ready to start.
You need to correct the texts SAME DAY you have got it and send them back SAME DAY
we can work with our customers without any delays.

Be available for correction every day as needed,
We want to cooperate for long-term.
There is 1-2 texts per day, be ready to check your email every few hours.

Salary paid every month at the date you have been activated.
Salary amount depends on text volume (quantity of words in the text)
you have corrected during the month.

We pay all taxes and fees.

Please confirm you are ready to start the work.

At 2:41 a.m., I received my first assignment. No request for work samples. No interview. No tax paperwork.

Look, given the uncertain use of English in the correspondence and text sent for editing, and the time of day at which I received these emails, it’s likely I’m dealing with someone on another continent. Fine. Even a phone interview might be a bit complex in this situation. But don’t they want to know anything about me? I sure want to know more about them—like who they are and what they do, for example.

So I did some digging around. The company link provided in the email signature didn’t work (although it does now, leading to, unsurprisingly, an international company). When I Googled the company, both the abbreviation it uses and the full name, nothing associated with it came up. When I Googled the name of the person who contacted me, only ads for the job I had applied for and an unrevealing MySpace page (no photo, no posts, very little—male, 31, single, Gemini, and, like untrue, U.S.—in the way of bio) appeared.

I was skeptical. The rate seemed decent, even generous, until I opened the attached document and discovered what I would be dealing with—writing that not only struggles with the English language but is riddled with typos. Complete rewriting would be required on business correspondence in which the meaning is unclear. And, given the company’s payment schedule (“Salary paid every month at the date you have been activated”), I could provide a month’s worth of work before realizing I wouldn’t be getting paid.

I didn’t reply. Perhaps this was a missed opportunity. But I am wary of falling for a scam. At the least, the whole situation was unprofessional, and one thing I do know as I continue to look for job opportunities is that I want to work with people who are good at what they do.



Filed under creative life

7 responses to “Scam? Or Missed Opportunity?

  1. I don’t think I would have replied either. Sounds a little fishy to me.

  2. For what it’s worth, I think you made the right call. If you had carried out the work, you might have fretted for that whole month, and life is stressful enough isn’t it? I agree with JoAnna. Fishy.

  3. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Scam? Or Missed Opportunity? « Mots Justes [] on

  4. You definitely made the right call. This definitely sounds like a scam at worst, high-risk at least. Even international companies have to abide by labor laws, so this was just a shady situation any way you slice it.

  5. I don’t think you missed anything either. Even if it was legitimate, the way it was being handled and the poor grasp of English in the documents means the pay wouldn’t have been worth your time and hassle.

    Scam or not, I don’t see any way it would have ended well. Congrats — you dodged a bullet.

  6. motsjustes

    Thanks, guys, for weighing in! I do feel I made the right decision in the end. Best, -ae

  7. Dub you well

    My late two-cents: I have no doubt this is a scam. They probably would have sent a check that “overpaid” you. Then they ask you to wire the extra money back to them. You know the rest, right?

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