Normally I would just move on with my life, but I feel like this scam attempt was a little too educated to just let it go by without informing people of the potential danger as it was a somewhat complicated attempt. Or at least the most complicated I’ve ever received.
I am a freelance VFX artist. I mostly work from home right now. I was contacted this week from someone claiming to be with a large companies TV department (DM me if you want to know the name of it) who had seen my resume on Indeed and was looking for an ‘animator’. Right away I typed the name into google and Linkedin and found no such HR professional. The name was either fake, or they weren’t on LinkedIn, but I found it highly unlikely an HR employee working in Burbank wouldn’t be on LinkedIn. The job breakdown was pretty convincing, but right off the bat I was put off because the description sounded like a motion graphics artist, but they were calling it an ‘animator’ position. I know there are small clients that don’t quite get the difference, but may be well intending so I decided to see what this was about. The email asked to chat on google hangouts as a sort of interview, the work is remote, so again, it sounded fishy, but I figured what do I have to lose from just chatting with this person. They clearly have my email, and they weren’t asking me to join a chat room or follow any links so I gave it a go. Most of the questions were all honest interview questions like “what inspires you to make art?” “why do you think you’d be a good fit?” …etc. I played along and answered the questions. It was pretty odd though because they were taking a while to respond. The next fishy thing was they were mentioning payment, and how there would be a ‘paid training period’ but weren’t sending samples of what the work was or even would it would really look like - even though I had been asking to see what kind of work they did. The final straw that gave them away was the last question where he/she asked what bank I used so they could check to see if it would work for their direct deposit system… facepalm… I said I’d feel more comfortable if I could find out more info first, and what is the name of the supervisor I would be reporting to. After that they went silent and I haven’t heard from them.
I guess it is technically possible it was real, but I highly doubt it. Even though they had a lot of obvious give aways, I was shocked at how targeted it was to the vfx/animation industry. The job breakdowns were lifted from somewhere and they seemed to have done their research. So stay safe peeps.