Virtual Assistant Job Scam Alert At ProbusinessAssistant.com
We recently warned our readers about a so-called Virtual/Personal Assistant business stealing the identity of a legitimate business, Emacity Ventures in Georgia. You can read about that scam here: Emacity Ventures, LLC-Personalassistantsolutons.com Scam .
Well it seems the scammers has moved on to a new Virtual/Personal Assistant scam at ProbusinessAssistant.com! You’ll notice in the screenshot below the website is identical to the site used in the Emacity Ventures scam only the business name has changed.
ProbusinessAssistant.com was just registered for one year on 12/8/2015 in China under the name Chris Daniels (more than likely a stolen identity) with the organization name Professional Business Assistant LLC 7731 North Dent Rd, Hixson, TN. 37343 Registrant Phone: +86.8009133942, Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I have not been able to find a Professional Business Assistant LLC registered in the state of Tennessee.
The phone # has a country code which is located in Germany and the email address is a free disposable email obtained through a service located at email-fake.com. But of course the business phone # and email on the website is Phone: (423) 451-2240 Email: email@example.com!
Below is a Google streetview screenshot of what is located at the business address shown on the website which is a private residence.
Of course that’s not saying that someone can’t run a business like this out of their home, because yes, people can operate a “Legitimate” business from home and many do. And there are plenty of legitimate Personal Assistant businesses you can work for to supplement your income, but it’s highly unlikely that is the case here.
Just beware! We know in the Emacity Ventures scam, the scammers were sending out recruiting emails to job seekers with resumes posted on CareerBuilder and other job sites, offering a too good to be true work at home job and when these job seekers replied asking for more info they received this:
My apologies for a late reply! In the attachment you will find our
standard Employment Agreement for review, please take your time to read
it, as it includes important information on the job duties, pay, schedule,
benefits, etc. Additional information about the company can be found at
our official website: http://www.personalassistancesolutions.com.
We offer a 1-year contract, which is prolonged automatically, so this is
permanent employment. Moreover, we are very interested in working with you
for a long time: there is a great demand on experienced VAs in the job
market, and it’s much more convenient to work with people you have
invested time and resources in, rather than constantly look for new ones.
Please note that this is a home-based job, and your communication with
clients and your supervisor will be performed online, at our corporate
There are 2 work shift options: you can work either part-time (20 hours
per week), or full-time (40 hours per week). The hours in the Employment
Agreement are given for YOUR time zone; they include an optional lunch
break for 1 hour: if you don’t need one, you can simply start later or
finish your day earlier. Unfortunately, evening hours aren’t an option. It
is possible to start working part-time and switch to full-time later (or
vice versa); however, you will need to notify us at least in 2 weeks prior
to the desired schedule changes.
Regarding the pay: the starting salary is $3200 per month for full-time
and $1800 per month for part-time; this is a guaranteed monthly salary,
it’s not commission-based. All numbers are given before taxes: you will
receive a W4 form to fill out, which will be used to calculate your state
income tax deductions. We would also add a bonus in the amount of 20% of
your monthly pay to your paycheck, if there have been no complaints both
from the client on your services, and from your supervisor on your
performance. However, if you have been rude to a client, failed to meet
the given deadline for an assignment, or showed up late for work without a
prior notice to your supervisor, your bonus will most likely be cancelled;
some penalties also may be applied.
Finally, the training: there is a free online training course for 1-2
days, which are considered as your first days of work and are paid by the
company. The training materials will be available upon your signing all
paperwork and officially becoming a new employee of Emacity Ventures. Your
assigned supervisor will be helping you with your first tasks: sending you
detailed guidelines, giving you hints and recommendations and taking you
step-by-step through the whole process.
In order to proceed, please print out the Employment Agreement, fill in
your contact details and put the start date of your choice, then sign the
document, scan it and send back to me by email. If you don’t have a
scanner, you can simply make a legible photo of a signed contract and
email it to me. Also, since your job duties will require the access to
personal, financial and confidential information of our clients, a
background check is a must for all employees. Please fill in and sign the
Background Check Authorization Form and send it to me as well.
As soon as I receive your signed paperwork and the results of the
background check, I will send you the rest of forms to fill out, such as
the W4, 1099, payroll, etc. We’re looking for people who can start working
with us ASAP, preferably this week. If you have questions, please feel
free to call me or email them to me as well.
Of course the site was reported for fraud and shut down before the person who received the email above provided their personal details to them.. thank goodness! That was a money mule scam and there is no doubt, that Professional Business Assistant LLC and the website ProbusinessAssistant.com is a money mule scam also.
These people target job seekers via email into becoming a “virtual or personal assistant” to perform these so-called tasks for their fake “clients”, which involves accepting and cashing fake checks or bank deposits and wiring money overseas.
Once the check has been cashed or the money withdrawn from the bank and is wired to the fake “client” the bank then discovers the funds were either stolen or the check was fake and you the victim will be held responsible to pay the money back while the scammers essentially walk away scot-free with the stolen money YOU wired to them!
Don’t Be A Money Mule!
If you receive or accept ANY work at home job offer that requires you to cash checks and/or use your own bank account to handle “client” accounts, it’s a scam! A legitimate company will NEVER ask an employee to use their personal bank account or cash checks to handle company business!
What To Do If You Are A Victim
If you have fell victim to an employment scam, you need to contact your bank immediately and close your account IF you have provided this information to the scammers. Next file a police report with your local authorities and then file a complaint with the FBI’s internet crime center at http://www.ic3.gov/
If you provided your Social Security number to them, you need to contact the 3 credit bureaus- TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, and place a fraud alert on your report. They can steal your identity and may try and obtain credit in your name. This will alert you for at least 90 days about any suspicious activity. I highly recommend you get some sort of ongoing identity protection such as the services offered through companies like LifeLock-Visit Their Website Here!
Have you received a job offer email claiming to be from Professional Business Assistant LLC or any other suspicious email offering you a “job” you never applied for? Feel free to copy and paste the email in the comments so we can help alert and prevent others from becoming victims.
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