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?WHAT HAPPENED????? How a remote tech writing gig proved to be an old-school scam

Freelance/Remote - Full Time & Part
Google Hangouts
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

Lee H. Goldberg -
Jun 2
Talk Messenger/Hangout
Mark Taylor
Ars Technica Addendum

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Introduce yourself to him and indicate your interview reference code.Thus began a two-day odyssey that nearly ended with my new "employers" draining the contents of my bank account.Per the email's instructions, I hopped onto Google Hangouts and reached out to "Mark Taylor," the person who would be interviewing me. If it's OK with you, I'll try the voice link and default to text if that doesn't work.(After unsuccessfully trying to establish a voice link for a few minutes, Mark broke in again)Are you ready to proceed with the interview now?Yes. Let's rock!The interview consist of three phases i.e " Introduction to the Company, Questionnaire Phase, Job Briefings, Description and Pay scale" So I'll begin by introducing you properly to the Company, provide you with the necessary information/details you need to know about us after which we would proceed with the questionnaire and job briefings OK.Sounds great! Thanks—I'm readyAfter a long briefing about the company, its research, and the oncology treatments it was developing, Mark began the formal part of the interview by introducing himself as the assistant chief human resources officer of the company and describing the duties I'd be expected to fulfill.After reviewing my qualifications, he asked me several of the questions I've frequently encountered at conventional interviews over the years, including the ever-popular "what can you describe as the most difficult challenge you have faced in your career thus far and what methods did you apply to get it solved?"I think I remember noticing that some of the questions I was answering had the same verbal tics I'd seen in the earlier emails, but, even if I did, I was too busy typing my replies to allow it to be a concern.This was followed by a series of shorter questions that seemed at first to be mostly a professional skills assessment that included:But there were two questions that seemed out of place. It seemed like an odd thing to ask, but I told them that my bank did accept electronic deposits and moved on to the next question.Within a few minutes of submitting my answers, Mark informed me that I'd passed the interview and would receive a formal offer to work from my home as a copywriter/proofreader.

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