A man believing he had been hired as a subcontractor was “scammed” out of more than $25,000, according to Union Police.
Authorities called the scheme “elaborate” and said a team of “con-artists” were involved. The man was convinced he had been hired to do a legitimate job, but later realized he was conned.
Police said the man was asked to use his own money for purchases with the promise he would be reimbursed. The reimbursement never occurred.
According to Union police, the purchases were mostly for iPhones that were shipped to Hong Kong.
Officers took the report of the online scam Tuesday, April 10.
The victim told police his resume had been posted on various job sites on the internet. He said he was contacted by a company called Jutland Offshore Company in Denmark.
After checking out the company’s website, the man told police, he felt the company was legitimate and agreed to a job interview.
He interviewed with a person named Eva Anders in early February. He said there were no red flags and the whole process seemed like a legitimate job interview.
The day after the interview, Feb. 8, the victim was told he passed a background check and was offered a job by a person named Morton Hagen.
The man signed up on be a subcontractor to buy office supplies.
He told police Hagen called him from a domestic phone number, but the company’s emails all had working international phone numbers.
After being “hired,” the man said he was sent for a trial job. He was led to believe Hagen would be grading and correcting him.
Hagen contacted the man Feb. 19 for his first trial project. The man was told to use his own credit card to make purchases. He was given the company bank account information to apply for reimbursement.
The man told police, before he made any purchase he called his credit card company. He said he was told that all of the information seemed to check out.
The man finished the first project and on Feb. 21, he was again contacted by Hagen for more work. The second project he completed that day and shipped items to K.K. Trading in Hong Kong via USPS.
Morton received a third project on Feb. 22. He was told on March 2 a corporate credit card should be arriving shortly.
The card never arrived and the man started getting bank payments returned as unauthorized.
The man attempted calling Hagen, but was unable to get in touch with anyone with the company. He told police the website provided in the emails had been taken down and was no longer in operation.
In total the man told police he lost over $25,000.
Union police are advising people to be wary of internet scams.
“Information that you receive on the internet, and even on a telephone, is suspect, at best,” Union Police Chief Norm Brune said. “Anyone can say they work for a reputable company. They can use any name they want to use. You have no verifiable information until you check out the information through trusted sources.”
Brune advised people to do outside research and not just click on links in emails. He said to use independent sources to try to verify information.
“If you’re being asked to use your money, with a promise of reimbursement, don’t buy it,” Brune said. “Slow down. Ask your local police agency to help you make a decision, before you become a victim.”