BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge company’s name was used for a fake job listing, leading dozens to apply for a job that didn’t exist, in an attempt to get bank account information.
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report says at least 48 people applied for a job through Indeed.com with a firm called Zehnder Communications Group. The ad mentioned entry-level applicants could make up to $40 an hour for home-based, part-time graphic design work. It turns out the company is not real and neither is the job listing.
The listing, as it sounded, was too good to be true. The company isn’t real and the job didn’t exist.
Officials with the real firm whose name was used by the scammers - Baton Rouge-based Zehnder Communications, an advertising and public relations agency with offices in New Orleans and Nashville - are trying to spread the word and let others know how easy it is to be victimized.
The fake listing used real names of employees at Zehnder Communications and held online interviews in bogus chat rooms, according to the report.
There were a couple of red flags that job-seekers should be aware of. The name was slightly off — Zehnder Communications Group as opposed to the real name, Zehnder Communications. The company’s email address came from a Gmail account. The ad promised to send any new hires a $6,000 check to cover their home office “set up fee,” which required would-be employees to send over bank account routing information for direct deposit.
“I had no idea this went on,” Zehnder Communications HR Director Stephanie Funti told the Baton Rouge Business Report. “Now that I’ve begun looking into this, I’ve come to realize we are just a drop in the ocean. There are so many others out there. It’s really scary.”
Funti says she doesn’t think any applicants actually supplied their bank information to the scammers but she cannot be sure.
The listing has since been reported and taken down.