I hope this might be helpful especially if you have kids looking for work.
Today’s generation of young adults are constantly connected to the Internet. And they are accustomed to doing many things online, including searching for work. But, there are some very sophisticated scams out there making it important to conduct due diligence on any offer that originates from an online source.
My youngest son is looking for work to get himself ready to resume his studies in September. He posted his resume online to indeed, a site which claims to be the number one job site in the world.
He received the following email from a Matt Hicks:
My name is Matt Hicks.
I am Sr. Human Resources Manager at Johnson Controls.
I came across your resume on an online job board (Indeed) and wanted to
reach out to you to see if you might be interested in a contract opportunity.
We are seeking energetic and reliable person to join our team.
Position: Customer Service – Manager Assistant
What you will do:
The position exists to monitor and respond to all incoming alarm transactions,
calls and requests for access to select clients.
How you will do it:
We will provide you with our software for this.
What Johnson Controls can offer you:
• Training Budget
• Flexible hours / Casual work environment
• Competitive Benefits Package
• Winner of Best Workplaces (Benefits, Perks & Incentives)
• Awesome new development machines (full accessories & dual monitor)
• Salary for Full time: 40 hours/week (880 CAD)
• Salary for Part time: 20 hours/week (440 CAD)
• Place of residence Canada
• You have customer service and computer skills
• Organization skills for successful workday planning
• Ability to multi-task, prioritize and manage time effectively
• Basic knowledge of the PC and basic knowledge of Microsoft Office.
Johnson Controls delivers products, services and solutions that increase
energy efficiency and lower operating costs in buildings for more than one
million customers. Operating from nearly 2,000 locations in more than 150
countries, we are a leading provider of equipment, controls and services
for heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration and security systems.
Please make sure you add the above email address to your contact
list to avoid lost messages or having it delivered to your spam folder.
If you are not interested, please let us know and we will not bother you again.
Sr. Human Resources Manager
Johnson Controls Hamilton Office
40 Hempstead Dr, Hamilton, ON L8W 2E7, Canada.
My son called me to ask my advice on the offer. I was familiar with Johnson Controls. They are a large company with well over 120,000 employees. And perhaps they had an initiative where they required students to perform basic data entry activities on a contract basis. Not all that unusual. I took a quick glance and tried to find Matt Hicks on LinkedIn. No profile.
I then jumped on Google Maps and searched the address in Hamilton, Ontario.
Using Street View, this is what I found.
Okay. The address seemed to check out.
I told my son to respond very simply this way: “Thank you for reaching out and I am interested in learning more about this opportunity.”
Within a very short period of time, another email from Matt Hicks which included an application form. As my son’s resume was already online, he used that as a template to fill out the application. We made sure that no confidential information such as a Social Insurance Number, was disclosed.
Then another email from Matt Hicks.
I am glad to inform you that your information has been reviewed.
Our company decided to hire you for the Customer Service – Manager Assistant position.
Equal Opportunity & Non-Discrimination
Johnson Controls is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and
all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity,
status as a qualified individual with a disability or any other characteristic protected by law
Get Connected and Grow Your Career
Bring your passion for innovation and we’ll challenge you to help us create a better tomorrow.
We support you at every level of your career.
Learning and development resources offer you a variety of meaningful courses and programs
to guide your career with a focus on tomorrow. Gain the skills and insights you need to make an
impact on lives around the world. We also offer leadership development opportunities to potential
senior-level talent across the company.
Business Resource Groups (BRG) bring together employees with similar backgrounds and
experiences to work together toward professional development, improving corporate culture and
achieving business results.
Please follow the next steps to complete Employment Agreement:
1. Confirm you’ve got this message by sending me an email.
2. You can find a PDF “Employment Agreement” attached to this message.
Please look through carefully, print it, fill out your personal
details in required fields and sign the contract. Please email me back
a scan copy of the document as soon as you are done.
Your duties :
– Be in touch with your manager (It’s me Matt Hicks) by email or by phone constantly.
– Keep your mobile phone switched on (all the time of your work).
– Perform all tasks quickly and efficiently.
– You cannot engage in side issues that hinder your work during the working day.
– Strictly perform tasks (it will affect the decision about your permanent employment).
– Make a report of each done task.
Full Time: 880.00 CAD/week
Part Time: 440.00 CAD/week
You should constantly check e-mail during the day and quickly respond to my messages.
Now I am waiting for the contract signed and will be very glad to see you as a new partner of Johnson Controls!
Sr. HR Manager
40 Hempstead Dr, Hamilton, ON L8W 2E7, Canada
My son passed me a copy of the contract. It looked official. It included the correct corporate logo and the typical corporate legalese that you would expect to see in an employment contract.
There were, however several red flags. The biggest one? This line:
Use Bitcoin during your work to purchase software for customers.
I told my son to not engage in any further communication with this Matt Hicks. And I decided to do a bit more forensic work.
The first, and easiest, task was to check the WHOIS registration information for the domain in Matt Hicks’ email address.
His email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I entered the domain “johnsoncontrolshrteam.com” into the WHOIS system and out came the following:
Another red flag. Domains By Proxy is used by fraudsters as the registrant information is private.
Compare the WHOIS information above to the real Johnson Controls domain “johnsoncontrols.com”:
Corporations do not hide their identities by using a service like Domains By Proxy.
Time to do a bit of pinging.
Pinging the domain “johnsoncontrols.com” brings back an IP address of 22.214.171.124. And, as expected, this is the direct IP address of the domain.
Pinging the domain “johnsoncontrolshrteam.com” brings back an IP address of 126.96.36.199. That IP address points to the following domain: “any-in-2015.1e100.net”.
Enter that into a browser and here is where you land.
I knew that my son was being targeted by a scammer.
If my son had proceeded, here is how the scam would have unfolded.
He would have been asked to electronically transmit his personal information, along with banking details. Then, he would have been asked to arrange a wire transfer for funds related to the job duties to “use Bitcoin during your work to purchase software for customers”.
He would receive either an Interac e-transfer or a cheque prior to the transfer of funds. Once received, those funds would need to be withdrawn immediately and deposited into a Bitcoin account. The e-transfer or cheque would fail to clear a few days later causing the bank to reverse the transfer. My son would be on the hook for those funds.
The scammer would then look for another target.
Online fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated.