I recently posted about my experiences with AskSunday, a virtual assistant service. While AskSunday wasn’t a good fit for me, it is a legitimate company and I know people that are using it and that seem to be happy with it. However it turns out that a scammer is using the name of the legitimate company as well as variations of it (Ask-Sunday, MakeSunday, AskSunday LLC) in order to defraud job seekers. The scam was reported by a number of people in the comments of my original post (thanks!!) and was still ongoing as of December 15th.
The scammer who uses a variety of names including “Brian Clark”, “Brian Moore” and “Thomas Moore” basically promises employment for AskSunday LLC and as part of it tries to get complete bank account information from applicants. It them seems like he then he transfers money into the account, ask the applicant to spend it on a project and then withdraws it. The result is the applicant being out of pocket.
More details below. I also highly recommend reading the many great comments below the original post. Please post any new comments there.
The scam seems to start with an email sent to people posting on job boards (e.g. monster). A sample email is posted below:
Having studied your resume/profile at Monster.COM we believe you obtain all skills required for a part time position available in our company. Let me briefly restate the main points that the following position does entail at Make Sunday LLC (licensed, bonded and insured lifestyle management agency specializing in the management of personal & business affairs and concierge services for VIPs, celebrities, athletes, entertainers and corporate executives). We provide customers with access to a team of personal assistants accessible by email, phone, and the web to handle both small daily tasks and handle complicated assignments. Feel free to study our corporate website http://www.MakeSunday.com for a better understanding of what this job is about.
Some of the scam used the domain MakeSunday.com. The domain is now down, but Google Cache has a copy and it is a copy & paste from an old version of the legitimate AskSunday home page. A whois query for MakeSunday.com lists:
Domain name: MAKESUNDAY.COM Name Server: ns3.nic.ru Name Server: ns4.nic.ru Name Server: ns8.nic.ru Creation Date: 2009.11.10 Expiration Date: 2010.11.10 Status: NOT DELEGATED Registrant ID: WBIG6BZ-RU Registrant Name: Atashnaa Werner Registrant Organization: Atashnaa Werner Registrant Street1: 158 Pinon Way Registrant City: Nederland Registrant State: CO Registrant Postal Code: 80466 Registrant Country: US Administrative, Technical Contact Contact ID: WBIG6BZ-RU Contact Name: Atashnaa Werner Contact Organization: Atashnaa Werner Contact Street1: 158 Pinon Way Contact City: Nederland Contact State: CO Contact Postal Code: 80466 Contact Country: US Contact Phone: +1 4033432220 Contact E-mail: email@example.com
A Hungarian email address, russian DNS servers and an address that is that of an empty house for sale in Colorado (RE/MAX real-estate listing here). The scammer is not exactly trying to be subtle. The registration for Ask-Sunday.com has a similar set of fake entries.
Interestingly enough, the fake sites kept the phone and fax numbers of the real AskSunday company. People who called AskSunday mention that AskSunday seems to be aware of the scam and is warning people about it.
If you have anything else to add, please add to the comments below the original post.