Job Scam Alert: Shangri-La Construction

Job Scam Alert: Shangri-La Construction

If you’re already aware of this fake job scam, good. For everyone else, please read on. I actually fell for one of these a few years ago. For a computer guy, that’s a tough one to admit, but so be it. I’m human. I’m receiving on average one to three of these per day lately.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT for return email addresses that are Gmail addresses rather than a corporate email address. In all likelihood, they’re spoofing a real person. I will reach out on LinkedIn to the real people and send them a message to let them know they have impersonators out there. This is generally appreciated, and who knows, that act in and of itself could land you a job. Just saying.

The less obvious and more ambiguous aspect to be on the lookout for in this fake job scam is overall tone of voice used in the email. Note the second paragraph starts with “You are to immediately contact…” This sort of language is rarely if ever used in an authentic recruiter response. Add to that the last sentence of the first paragraph: “The window for this screening test/interview is Monday 12/04/2021 and Tuesday 13/04/2021 from 10 am (EDT) each day.”

A couple of things here:

First, the date format is a clear indicator that this originated from outside the United States, as it’s expressed as day/month/year rather than our standard month/day/year.

Second, odds are you never agreed to any specific dates and times previously. You might not even recall sending an application in for this job/company. I myself don’t keep track of each and every job application I submit online. It’s simply not practical.

DEAD GIVEAWAY (at least for now):

“This virtual screening test/interview is online through Email correspondence and Google Hangout.”

This is always the kicker. That’s how I got suckered. For now, they’re still using this method of contact, but be forewarned that Google Hangouts is going away eventually, according to Google. That was supposed to happen a while back, but Google has been slow to actually get rid of it.


Note the odd indentation of the greeting (“Dear Keith Ratner…”). This in and of itself is not necessarily a red flag, but it’s an easy thing to spot. For me, that does set off alarms. The vast majority of emails don’t look like that, so this is a quick visual cue if you happen to be scanning tons of emails.


I’m speaking from personal experience here. Your mileage may vary and there might be other processes which ensue should you be inclined to actually follow up on one of these. I did, and this is what happened, in a nutshell:

I began to engage via Google Hangout (chat only; there was NO VIDEO) with what was clearly an actual human being. (This is another thing that will inevitably become less obvious thanks to better Artificial Intelligence and automated tools – but these people are rather slow to update their methods. Don’t count on them not getting smarter, possibly much smarter, possibly overnight.)

After chatting back and forth for a short while, it was agreed that I would be sent a check to purchase the computer equipment I would need to perform this work-from-home job. Sure enough, a couple of days later, a FedEx package arrived containing a $2,500 check. I was instructed to deposit the check, go to Wal-Mart, purchase said equipment, then reimburse the sender directly for the difference, which would be roughly $1,000.

The check was suspicious, but I was in a bind. This was on a Friday, and I wasn’t going to be able to get to the bank until Monday. So, I deposited the check via my mobile device, and the amount showed up promptly in my bank.

By the time Sunday rolled around, I needed to pay rent, and I could not access any funds. I finally got customer service on the line on Monday. They informed me the check was fraudulent. I spent the next couple of days explaining to a chain of bank agents what had happened. They very politely told me they were severing their relationship with me and would be sending me a certified check for the remaining balance in my bank account (minus the fraudulent $2,500, obviously).

Needless to say, this was highly inconvenient. I still feel like I got off easy, and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who end up facing considerably more hardship due to this particular scam.


If anyone has any ideas on how to foil these people, I’m all ears. At the very least, I can provide this as a cautionary tale. This problem is likely to only get worse during this time of high unemployment. There are tons more people who are not technically savvy being forced to go through the online job application process. The last thing anyone needs is this type of nonsense.

Actual text of the email (UNEDITED):

Dear ***********,

Thank you for your application for the Creative Director position at Shangri-La Construction. After reviewing your application, our online recruitment team has recommended you for the open position and you’re among the candidates shortlisted for a virtual screening test/interview session with a Senior Recruiter at Shangri-La Construction.This virtual screening test/interview is online through Email correspondence and Google Hangout. The window for this screening test/interview is Monday 12/04/2021 and Tuesday 13/04/2021 from 10 am (EDT) each day.

You are to immediately contact the Senior Recruiter Ms.Kristi Hogan at her email ( to acknowledge the receipt of this email and to confirm your availability and to schedule your interview. You should also add her on Google Hangouts with the same email address.

The goal of this interview is for us to get to know you better, and for you to ask any questions you may have. We want to make sure that your skills, goals and ambitions match our company’s culture and the position.

It is important that you send email to the Senior Recruiter Ms.Kristi Hogan to proceed with the screening process. The email again for the interview is (

Please do stay safe during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Best Regards

Alex Silber

Project Director

Shangri-La Construction

Thank you for reading, and PLEASE BE CAREFUL!


12 responses to “Job Scam Alert: Shangri-La Construction”
  1. Sofya Bezchasnaya Avatar
    Sofya Bezchasnaya


    I am glad to inform you that due to your level of experience and your working skills, the company has decided to hire you as one of its Graphic Designer. On behalf of the company, I congratulate you. You are now offered an opportunity to be part of the Innovapost Inc Team.

    We believe that your knowledge, skills and experience would be an ideal fit for our creative team and make a significant contribution to the growth of the Company.

    You will receive your duties everyday via email and I will be online to walk you through your tasks. You will be undergoing a 5 to 7 days online training, via Zoom immediately after setting up your workspace.

    We are starting you with $55 per hour and you will receive your pay semi-monthly. The pay days are the 15th (or last working day of each month) and the last working day of each month via wire transfer, direct deposit, or check, depending on which you prefer. Benefits include: Health,Vision and Dental Insurance, Employee Wellness and Paid Time Off. You will be enrolled for other benefits after a period of 3 months of working with us.

    We are going to be communicating virtually till after 5 days of working with us, subsequently a user ID and password will be given to you including a link to the company server and a list of contact phone numbers to various departments will be sent to you including all necessary forms to fill out.

    Before you start work, you will receive a payment(check) which will be used to set up your workspace by purchasing the office equipment and software needed to start your training and work.

    Shortly, you will be receiving your Employment Offer Letter tomorrow morning. Our aim is for you to start training as soon as possible.

    You must send the following details right away so that HR can register you and create your offer letter:

    Your Full Name:
    Full Home Address:
    Phone number:
    Your Email :

    Please respond with the information provided above.


    1. Keith Avatar

      Thank you, Sofya!

  2. Akash B Avatar
    Akash B

    Dear Applicant,

    I would like to introduce myself and also know more about you. That would help in where to categorize you and how best to interview you. Also, this is going to be a mail-to-mail interview. Your urgent response would be appreciated. I’m Domingues Silvino, One of the hiring managers for Eagle Transportation Corp..

    After reviewing your resume, I must say that I am impressed with your background. Nonetheless, I have to take you through what we hope to get from a new employee and what we are offering.

    RESPONSIBILITIES/DUTIES: Administrative tasks Updating client information in a computer system running and processing multiple documents utilizing Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access Inputting purchase orders Other various administrative tasks, Inputs information from a variety of sources into a computer database. Verifying, correcting, deleting unnecessary data, or combining data from several sources before entering into a file, entering information into specific files or forms from recorded material, checking completed work for errors or duplicate information before submitting the final product. You will earn $39 per hour and you will receive your pay via Check or Direct Deposit bi-weekly.

    Furthermore, You will receive your duties via email everyday. I will always be online to assist you with any difficulties. You will be working remotely and some sensitive information might not be shared with you until you are an entire staff of Eagle Transportation Corp. You are not a whole staff until after you have gone through your orientation on a secure server because our company policy is based on the high priority of privacy and confidentiality of the company. A company representative would schedule a specific date for your orientation via Zoom. I will be helping you in securing your materials for your Orientation. Below will tell you more about what is needed for your Orientation.

    You will need a time tracker to commence training and Orientation; the work of the time tracker is to calculate your hours worked since you would be working from home. Here are the names of the software’s you will need to start working with: Tracker; to calculate your hours, Peach tree Complete Accounting Software Sage Simply Accounting Software Microsoft Excel 8 2016 Microsoft Word 11 2015 MySQL 5 2011, PHP 5 2011, UNIX 2 2005, XML 5 2007, Vendor Management 7 2021 MacBook Pro 119, Laptop Stand, Cordless Mouse/ Trackpad & Keyboard, Wifi Range Extender, Noise Canceling Headphones. The funds needed to buy/order these materials would be made available to the management. As soon as you receive the funds, you will be required to purchase/order the needed materials online or locally to get ready for your orientation and training.

    After the orientation and training, An appointment to meet with a representative from the company would be scheduled; you might need to sign some paperwork and complete registration and eligibility to work/tax withholding forms and company-specific paperwork. Also, you would be going through a 1month probation period, after which you would start enjoying our benefits packages which include Health, Dental, Employee Wellness, and 401k plans—paid Time Off and Holidays with Generous Company Discounts. This job offers Flexible hours, but you are to report online by 9am your time Mon – Fri 39/hr. A week for duties, tasks, and assignments. You will get paid during this orientation period. We have a finance Department/Parent company for Eagle Transportation Corp., that will be funding this orientation program. They will be issuing a check to you to purchase the materials listed. I will let you know and provide you with the tracking number to keep track of it.

    Kindly answer the following interview questions below if you are willing to be part of Eagle Transportation Corp.

    1. Tell me about yourself and describe your relationship with your current or most recent manager

    2. When would you be available to start if hired?

    3. What are your words per minute speed? What is the accuracy value at that speed?

    4. What do you understand about privacy and code of conduct in an organization?

    5. What is your greatest strength, and how will it help your performance in this position?

    6. At Eagle Transportation Corp, we like to think of ourselves as a team. Working towards the same goals. How do you feel about working in a team?

    PS: You are not fully employed until you have completed the orientation, in which a representative of this company will be contacting you to schedule a zoom interview with you. Thank you for taking the time to read this. We look forward to having you onboard.

    Best Regards.
    Domingues Silvino

    Help me with this above mail context, whether it is real or fake!!!

    1. Keith Avatar

      Thank you for your contribution here. This is most definitely a scam. If you pursue this, they will send you a fraudulent check with instructions for you to deposit the check then send them the excess funds. That is how they profit. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.

  3. Justin Avatar

    From: Debbie Allison


    Due to your experience level and working skills, the hiring board has selected you for the next stage of the hiring process for employment as Junior Data Analyst(Remote) at Sobet. On behalf of our Company, I congratulate you on your achievement. We now offer you an opportunity to be part of our team at Sobet. We believe your knowledge, skills, and experience would be an ideal fit for our team and contribute to the Company’s overall success.

    We will now register you for the next stage of the hiring process. The HR will prepare an Offer Letter which you are required to append your signature as acceptance of the offer.Further evaluation of your Resume, Portfolio and background screening process is ongoing. You may receive a call from us if additional information is required.

    Our aim is for you to start training as soon as possible. You will receive your duties daily via email, and I will be online to walk you through your tasks. We are starting you with $55 per hour, and you will receive your pay weekly via wire transfer, direct deposit, or check, depending on which you prefer. In addition, this position is eligible for a $900 sign-on bonus. Benefits include Health and Dental Insurance, Employee Wellness, 401k, and Paid Time Off. We will enroll you for other benefits after three months of working with us.

    Subsequently, you will receive a username and password, including an up-link to the company server. We will also send you a list of contact phone numbers for various departments, including all necessary forms to fill out. Before training, you will receive a payment to set up your mini office by purchasing the office equipment and software applications needed to begin your training and employment. In addition, you will be undergoing a 5 to 7 days virtual training, via Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, immediately after setting up your mini office.

    You are to immediately forward the following information to enable the HR secretary to register you for the next stage of the hiring process:



    Phone number:


    Please email the requested information above to

    Furthermore, please provide me with the information you sent to the HR email above for clarification and confirmation.


    1. Keith Avatar

      Of course, this is fraudulent. Aside from the grammatical errors, the inappropriately domineering tone (i.e., “You are to immediately forward the following information…”) should be a dead giveaway. I haven’t seen references to “an up-link to the company server” or “a list of contact phone numbers for various departments” before. It would be interesting to see those, in the unlikely event they actually provide them, but that would require you to spend time pursuing this further. You’ve already done a service to the community by posting this here. Thank you.

  4. Justice Brown Avatar


    Your application Customer Service Remote was received from CareerBuilder, unfortunately the position has been filled, However, I would like to refer you to a client of ours who is looking to hire a personal assistant. The pay is $1800.00 bi-weekly

    If you are interested, forward your resume to the email address below:

    Wish you best of luck.

    Daniel Smith

  5. Leela Avatar

    They tried to scam me too.
    Would the cops be interested?
    You actually lost money…
    Have you tried?

    1. Keith Avatar

      I didn’t actually lose money. I was inconvenienced and my bank severed ties with me. Law enforcement is inundated with reports. It would have been a waste of my time and theirs to involve them. Posting these reports online has a net positive effect as anyone who has the foresight to do a quick Google search before engaging with these fraudulent operations is likely to find one of these threads. It seems to have helped a few people so far.

  6. Matrix Avatar


    We received your application and we are interested in discussing your background and qualifications further. Our recruitment panel put you forward for consideration and you have been certified acceptable in compliance with our need for top talents to grow our shared ambition. As you appear to potentially be what we are looking for, you have been considered and scheduled for an online briefing and interview with senior technical recruiter who will explain more about the position and of course, get to know more about you before deeming you qualified for the company. Kindly reply to this email if this is inline with your career and internship goals.

    Best Regards,
    Recruitment and Staffing
    Veolia Water Technologies

  7. William Haines Avatar
    William Haines

    From: Debbie Allison

    Hello We would like to express our gratitude for your time and interest in the Remote Software Developer position being offered by Sobet. Upon thorough evaluation, we are delighted to inform you that your application has been approved. This correspondence serves to verify that the scheduled job interview will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. EST Kindly provide a resolute affirmation (YES) if you are willing to participate in an interview schedule. Best Regards Sobet

    1. William Haines Avatar
      William Haines

      I received various scam offers without fund problems and I’m not sure what they want from me.
      Would you please explain what they are looking for with fake offers, Keith?

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