Woman says 12 On Your Side prevented costly mistake

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A local woman says, 12 On Your Side, saved her from making a mistake that would have ruined her financially. She read about our job scam investigation online just as she was on the verge of accepting a position from the same bogus company.

The woman is upset. She was so close to becoming a victim of crooks phishing for information to steal her identity and her money. We investigated the "Cert Group, Inc". on Tuesday and got her e-mail, the following morning:

Responding to our investigation on "Cert Group, Inc." she writes: "I have also been a victim of this scam. Thanks to 12 news...I will not pursue this any further." The woman declined to appear on camera, but her experience confirms the expert warning.

"We are in fact convinced it's a scam," said Craig Butterworth, Internet Crime Compliant Center. "Perhaps the most notable is the grammar and syntax. The body of the email was drafted or created by someone for whom English is not the primary language."

The crooks dangled a job, offering top dollar, with not a lot work. She responded to questions that were not so invasive at first, but a series of e-mails followed -- from the same people we told you about Tuesday, trying to convince her to accept. The fake company says it is based in Syracuse, New York and is world known. But, you can't find it in a Google search. It instructed this woman to click on a link to an elaborate, but bogus website, showing all of its awards and brokerage, and financial services.

"A lot of people might be inclined to accept these offers. Keep in mind though if your notice anything grammatically wrong, the syntax is off, just remember the golden rule of thumb. If it's too good to be true, it probably is," said Butterworth.

A $2,300 a month job, for 3 hours of work. She was supposedly one of two candidates. Eventually, she would have been asked for her social security number and account information -- because of the requirements of the job. Experts say don't do it and never click on a link in a suspicious email.

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