There have been warnings in Texas regarding a scam, where the scam artist preys on the jobless – telling them they have a job, with the victims only realizing the job offer is fake when they turn up for work.
Pasadena police say more than a dozen people fell victim. They say the job scheme started two weeks ago when a man who claimed to be a recruiter for Lyondell walked into a store in the Pasadena Town Square Mall and asked a woman if she wanted a refinery job. The woman, who didn’t want to be identified, says she did not need a job, but her husband did. She said, “He gave me his number and I gave him my husband’s number and they started talking afterward, and he basically said he was a supervisor of the plants.”
According to the woman, the recruiter said her husband was hired but needed to wire $125 to cover the cost of a drug test and criminal background check. The suspect also asked for names of others who were looking for jobs.
Police say at least 18 other people wired money to the recruiter after also being promised a job at Lyondell. The victim told Eyewitness News, “We went one morning and we talked to the security guard and no one knew who he was or anyone named like that in the company. So we got a supervisor and he came to talk to us and he did not know what we were talking about or anything.” When those new workers showed up at Lyondell, they say they found out the job offer was fake.
A spokesperson for LyondellBasell issued the following statement:
“All positions available at LyondellBasell are posted online and all job applicants must begin by applying on our website. We do not solicit employment in public locations such as a mall and we do not accept applications at our gate or offices. No job applicant will ever be asked to pay a fee to apply for a position at LyondellBasell. All costs for new employees, including background checks and drug screens, are paid by the company.”
This is a shocking example of an individual making money from others in a time of need. Along with the other types of scams that have arisen during the recession, such as those work from home scams which offer unbelievable returns, or companies that offer “free” or “instant” background checks, they are just examples of scammers taking what little money people have at this time of desperation.
Be careful and do your research – if an offer is to good to be true, it probably is.