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Scammed by the Bell (Story)

With any job offer, park your emotions and desperation for income and RESEARCH. I hope you enjoy (and learn from) this true and painfully embarrassing story.

If you’d like to listen to this story instead, you can on medium!

Scammed by the Bell

It’s January 2023. I’m lying on my sofa, in a plush robe on a Monday afternoon, crying my eyes out.

I’ve been unemployed for 3 months despite having a shiny new 4-month-old MBA degree in tow. THREE months of waking up at 7 am daily to search and apply for hours on end…Far, far too many applications were floating in purgatory to recount.

*ding* NEW EMAIL

I am staring at my laptop when I hear the bell that indicates a new email. I rush to it, and there’s an INTERVIEW INVITATION.

God, I thought you’d forgotten about me. Damn, it’s about TIME.

The position is well-paid and with a reputable company! A company that I and even family had heard of.Oh yes, I am getting. this. job.The interview is the next day, via teams. I excitedly share the news with loved ones and let my anxiety keep me up all night preparing. I awake and have 2 rockstar energy drinks and pray. My eyes are focused on my MacBook, when …


Hi Briana! The interview will be here in the chat. I’ll type questions and you may take your time in responding. Let me know when you’re ready! 🙂

A written interview for a copywriting job makes sense, Briâna. And besides, you communicate best that way. Kill it.

The interview lasts an hour, with questions relevant to the role. The interviewer’s responses are humanlike and attentive. There are no red flags. I finish the day expecting good news tomorrow.*ding* NEW EMAILThe veins in my frail arms pop up as I rush to open the correspondence. It’s a job offer.

Of course, you have a job offer Briâna! Hurry, sign everything! The sooner you do, the sooner you can start working (and paying off this new degree)!

With eager excitement and detrimental oversight, I provide all my sensitive information for their background check. Here’s where my desperation turns into stupidity…*ding* NEW EMAIL — hmm, this is a different person, but they have the same email format and suffix. They are asking for my direct deposit information, for the sake of their weekly paid training. I don’t think twice before sending it over. I NEED THIS MONEY.Radio silence… for 24 hours… after I’ve given such sensitive information…As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, my antennas are UP now, and I begin to search for the name of the person that interviewed me and the HR rep that asked for my banking information on the company’s website and on LinkedIn. Neither person is on the company site, and their LinkedIn profiles look like shells with no filling, as if they were just created.

Have I been scammed? No way… Everyone knows this company… let me just email the two people again…

No Bell. No Email. No Response.

It has now been 48 hours since I voluntarily gave all of my sensitive information away.

Desperation and Anxiety have a way of clouding your thoughts. Hell, anxiety and desperation are what led me to give my banking and other sensitive information away without ever having a phone conversation with this company. Anxiety, also lead me to gulp the lump of fear in my throat, finally call and get to the bottom of whatever was happening.

I started with simple questions, “Does SCAMMER 1 work for the company?” NO.“Is there someone named SCAMMER 2 in HR?” NO.“Are you hiring copywriters currently?” NO.“What is your email suffix?” First initial, lastname @

My heart sank, and I burst into tears on the phone with the CSR, who after hours of asking, finally answered my questions. I know that she was only trying to do her job and protect company information but damn, this company had SCAMMED ME!Or, so I thought.I asked to speak to a higher-up in either HR or the copy department and was granted the privilege. Through my salty tears, I explained the last few days in great detail, sharing their names and email addresses (which spoofed the company’s email perfectly with only one small exception, the full first name instead of an initial). I cried, I was given many apologies from the company and even thanked for sharing the scam in such detail.

We are so sorry for what happened to you, we had no idea a scam of this nature was ongoing and we are addressing changes to our servers. I know this is devasting but thank you for telling us, thank you for saving other people.

Saving other people?! I was scammed to save someone else?! How do I save myself?!

As emotional as I can be sometimes, life on my own since I was 18 has taught me to always have a layer of protection. I don’t even realize that I am protecting myself sometimes, because it is habitual.In the end, I realized that I had given them the banking information from my prepaid card, where my clients pay me for writing services. There was absolutely no way for the scammers to take anything from the account once I moved the funds to my Apple wallet. I’d also applied with my google voice phone number and not my real number. Yes, they had my birthday and social, but all that would get them was a few thousand in student loans since I’d recently graduated and had a negative net worth.

We are so sorry for what happened to you, we had no idea a scam of this nature was ongoing and we are addressing changes to our servers. I know this is devasting but thank you for telling us, thank you for saving other people.

After telling friends and family what happened to me, and now — writing this story, I can accept this thanks from the company. I was scammed by a job offer but I lost nothing except time and tears. What has been gained, however, is a story that will hopefully save someone else.

Pay attention to email suffixes, and cross-verify them with the company’s website. Also, LinkedIn is a great tool, and some red flags that I personally noticed were limited work history, no profile picture, and no endorsements. Good things come to those that wait and those that research. Don’t be scammed by the bell.


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About The Author

Briana Derry, MBA is a passionate writer, researcher, and freelancer with a passion for learning and teaching others to take a BreeziDeezi approach to life, career, and their pursuit of the present.

Fluent in American Sign Language and constantly learning, Briana has served as an Academic Advisor, Public Educator, Digital Media Manager, and Mayor’s Intern. She loves to help people with their academic progress by assisting with writing. 

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