I responded to a job post for an Academic Exchange Coordinator position on June 2 expecting it to be a scam. Oh man, is it ever! These crooks are not only looking to hit up job seekers, but have no qualms about ruining the reputation of a legitimate organization in the process.
Without an interview or a review of my references or resume, Victor Carabut of PAX LLC, not PAX the non-profit academic exchange organization, sent me a copy of an coordinator agreement to complete. Before receiving an official job offer, I am supposed to share my social security number and banking information; but sharing a driver’s licence number and/or passport info are optional.
In the ad, my duties would entail meeting students at the airport and transporting them to their host’s home. In the email, I do that, but also receive payment for academic services. I’d be paid $500 a month plus 3% of the program fee.
This guy used the legitimate organization’s logo and address on this agreement, but changed the phone and fax numbers to suit his needs. The website he mentions in the email, paxllc.net, is a clone. I ran a WHOIS search and found the administrative contact using the legit address but different phone and fax numbers. “Heidi Guerrero,” I see you!
+1.2815062758 fax: +1.8008566733
14 Willett Avenue
New York NY 10573
Here’s a little more interesting information. The contact number used on the clone site (347-826-4983 ) has been used by scammers before. Ever heard of Intaro Safe Business Group or UNIS Holding Group? Only potential victims and fraudwatchers have. Thanks Bobbear.co.uk for sharing!
I’ve contacted Pax.org and forwarded the email, link, and copy of the agreement.
This isn’t new, unfortunately. Scammers frequently clone a legitimate business in order to catch potential victims off guard. Victims think they have found a legit position and stop digging for information. By the time they realize they’ve been scammed, the crooks have made off with the victim’s funds, identities, and self-esteem.
Never let a familiar company name keep you from doing the research. Don’t stop with the URL the contact person shares. As always, if any of you have been contacted by these crooks, please share.