SAN ANTONIO – Twenty dollars an hour, an opportunity to work from home, and flexible hours was what one particular job posting offered. It caught Michelle Felux’s eye.
“This year has been pretty hard on everybody, me included,” she said.
So when she saw the job listed on a Floresville Facebook neighborhood group page, she decided to find out more.
“I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ I’m a fast typist. I can do data entry,” she said.
In the end, she got more than the job — she got deception.
Felux, wanting to supplement her family’s income, reached out to the job poster.
She was instructed to contact the hiring manager over Telegram, a messaging app. That’s where the interview took place.
“His message had the Liveops logo on it,” Felux said.
Liveops is a well-established cloud call center based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The interview questions were basic and, at times, odd.
“Do you have Cash App and a printer?” the hiring manager asked.
The entire conversation took place by text.
At one point, he asked Felux about her bank and requested she send a screenshot of her daily deposit limit. Uncomfortable with that request, Felux declined.
Still, he said he needed about five minutes to send her answers to the board of directors.
“He said, ‘Congratulations! You got the job!’” Felux said. “And, I thought, ‘That was the easiest interview ever.’”
She said she was told they would send her an Apple laptop and she would need to buy specific software.
“And, before any employment agreement was signed, he send me a pdf document of a check for $2,500,” she said.
She was to print it and deposit it using her bank’s mobile app and buy the software promptly.
But Felux noticed the name on the check was Liveops Company, different from the Liveops Inc. website she’d looked up.
“He started getting pushy when I wouldn’t respond right away,” she said.
And when she confronted him about inconsistencies, she said he got defensive.
She did not deposit the check, which the issuing bank could not verify.
“This is certainly not a practice of Liveops,” Malori Heppler, manager of communications for Liveops, Inc., said in a statement. “And, (it) sounds like someone fraudulently using a version of our name to take advantage of unsuspecting people.”
She added that Liveops Inc. does not use messaging platforms to conduct interviews nor use non-company emails to communicate with applicants.
The Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau urge job hunters to be wary when you cannot see the person who’s doing the interview. And if they want you to send or receive payments, that’s a red flag. They suggest thorough research, discussing such offers with friends or relatives.
As for Felux, she nixed the job and is making it her business to warn others.
“There are probably a lot of remote job interviews now, and I feel they probably exploited that,” she said.
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