Anyone who thinks they are immune to scams and frauds will usually be taken by a scam or fraud. This is how people make money for nothing, by relying on people thinking they are too clever to fall for something so they fall for it harder than ever.
This has happened to me more times that I care to recall. Its embarrassing.
One time I had a person approach me with the “Hey, I lost everything but I can get it back if you give me a large sum of money and you give me your address so I can mail the money back to you”. He said he was American, but had married a Norwegian but he and his wife lost everything in their luggage and he could not stay at the youth hostel on Amsterdam Avenue on the upper West Side because they did not allow Americans to stay there (which is true…Americans, Canadians and Mexicans cannot stay there…which is probably in the tourists best interest). And I ended up quizzing him about Norway, a place I am familiar with, and let him know he failed miserably and gloated over the fact he asked the wrong person.
Then one year later I gave $40.00 to a guy in a bar because he made me feel his calloused hands and showed me a Union Card and he promised he would pay me back.
He never did. It dawned on me later that his calloused “workingman’s hands” were really just hardened by years of holding a hot crack pipe.
I got suckered because he sized me up as someone who knew what it was like to work and get screwed over and I felt sorry for him and gave him drug money thinking it would get him back home to New Jersey so he could be among his loved ones and some proper hand lotion.
I have been looking for a job lately. The environment has changed since I last had to look. Back in 2006 I met a recruiter who I swore up and down she had been sent to me by god. She got me a great job that I loved, we hung out and often had dinner together and enjoyed pleasant conversations and good food. She advocated for me with my employers if needed and I reviewed resumes for her to make sure she had the most trustworthy candidates possible. I know I probably just got lucky and ran into an exceptional recruiter but my experience with her has perhaps made me overly trusting and vulnerable with others.
I am very suspicious of someone who uses a name that is not theirs during any kind of transaction. If your name is Robert and you go by “Bob” then that is fine. If you have a name that Americans easily forget because you or your parents were not born here then it is perfectly fine if you want to simplify and use “Bob” instead of Rabinidranath (Bob Tagore wrote the national anthem of India) but if your name is Rabinidranath Tagore and you go by the name “Bob Smith” then there is something wrong with you. If you have a Voip phone that claims you are based in the US but its connection drops at the same time there are network outages in Mumbai then I am really suspicious. I have had run ins with folks from the Indian subcontinent who have done this before and it always seems to be a way to cover their butts when their business plan goes belly-up.
But, in spite of my experience, successful lawsuit against someone using a similar tactic in a different field I have fallen for a recruiter who claimed to represent a company as an Anglo-Named businessman but really was just a resume combing person who tried to get me to sign away on not applying for another job.
From what I can gather the method seems to be designed to get H1B visas issued but I have no idea if it really works or not. The trick is this:
1. Be a recruiter with a PO box in the USA but do not be based in the USA.
2. Contact job applicant.
3. Get them to agree to be exclusively represented by their company.
4. Get enough qualified people to make this agreement.
5. Try to convince the company to sponsor H1B visas since no other qualified applicants can be found.
6. If you succeed, get one of your “recruiters” back in India to take the job and then get a big cut.
I am not naming real names because I have no proof of this. It is pure speculation on my part. But I did fall for another scam I should not have fallen for. I will probably always be vulnerable to a degree but I assume everyone else is as well.