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Bob Ferguson

HelpWantedTell us what's wrong with this job offer

Everyone loves the idea of making easy money while working from home. That’s why emails like the one below, which I received from a “Richard Bronswick,” occasionally make it past our spam filters. I chose not to correct the tons of typos, syntax and punctuation errors in “Richard’s” job offer, which starts with a bang:

I am looking for someone who can handle my personal and business errands at his/her spare time. Someone who can offer me these services:Mail services: Receive my mails and drop them off at UPS (nothing illegal).

Let’s pause and reflect on the “nothing illegal” part. When he says “nothing illegal,” doesn’t that make you think, “Hmmm, I wonder if this is actually illegal?” It’s kind of like saying, “Don’t think about a pink elephant!” But wait, Richard’s just getting started:

Shop for Gifts Bill Payment Sit for delivery( at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience.

What, exactly, is “Gifts Bill Payment Sit” and why is it being delivered to my home? Is he asking me to babysit a gift or sit on a bill? Don’t bills and gifts generally take care of themselves? Upon reflection, I realize he wants me to “sit for deliveries” – to lounge around in my bathrobe waiting for stuff to arrive. Sounds easy enough. But perhaps what Richard really needs is a good proof-reader. Let’s continue:

This job is flexible so you can do it wherever you are provided that there is a post office in the area. In addition to that, I don't mind you doing all of the tasks during your spare time outside of work or school.. I wish I could meet up with you to talk about this job in person but I am currently away on business. I am in Europe so there will be no interview. I will prepay you in advance to do my shopping and have my mails/packages forwarded to your address. If you will be unable to stay at home to get the mails, I can have them shipped to a post office near you and then you can pick them up at your convenience.

Wow, this is just too easy! I simply sit at home receiving mail after being pre-paid for my not-hard work. Now, if I thought about it more, I might wonder: do they not have post offices in Europe? Why can’t Richard “gifts payment bill sit” from his hotel? And what if I'm interested in the job but don't have a car?

All errands will be in your city/town so It is not a must that you have a car for the job, you can go places by bus or taxi. When you get my mails/packages; you are required to mail them to where I want them mailed to.. You won't have to put money out of your pocket, all you have to do is have packages shipped to your house and do my shopping. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal the content. The content of the packages will be business and personal mails. All expenses and taxes will be covered by me. You will work between Your will work between 15 and 20hrs a month..How much will you charge per month? I will pay $600. That is not a bad offer is it? I need your service because I am constantly out of town.... I am an Architect. I will return to America in July so this process will be on going till then. If you don't mind, I will meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term. Well, let me know if you are able to handle the position.

Let’s summarize this amazing offer: an architect traveling in Europe is so busy that he needs someone — whom he’s found by randomly emailing strangers — to do his shopping and his receiving and forwarding of various packages (nothing illegal). And this easy-as-pie job may be done from the comfort of your own home for $20 per hour, pre-paid in $600 chunks.

For those who would not fall for such a ploy, please submit your suggestions as to what might happen if I respond to this job offer. What are the clues that something is amiss? We’ll receive your answers on Facebook and here on All Consuming. You may provide your answers from the comfort of your own home in your spare time.

And please keep an eye out for my packages.

-Dan Sytman-


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