Earlier today I had an “interview” with someone claiming to be a CliftonLarsonAllen employee. I won’t share his name.

He is indeed a real person who works for that company, according to LinkedIn and the company’s official website.

However, he was not the one on the other end of this Google Hangout.

I’ll post sections of the conversation here so that anyone who might be Googling this awfully phishy topic might find this article of use.

I’ll detail each portion of the attempt as well so that others can recognize this attempt and avoid it like I did.
Initial Contact

I received an email from officialhiringdesk@gmail.com.

That was my first clue. Official business for a company would be conducted with the company’s actual email, not any other type of email address. Even though the email LOOKED official, the email address did not.

I didn’t see this email in any of my google searches, so that’s why I’m posting it here and it has been reported to Google as a phishing attempt. Hopefully they’ll take it down and stop this particular scam.

Here’s what it said:

Dear Job Seeker,

Your resume has been successfully reviewed, received and approved by the Human Resources department of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. We were impressed by your background and we believe you are qualified for an online-interview via Google Hangout with the HR Manager Mr. -redacted- to brief you more about the available positions which we are looking to fill in. You are required to setup a Gmail /Google Hangout account, if you don't have one you can have one setup at(mail.google.com) and a Gmail hangout at (www.google.com/hangouts/). Once it's been setup you are to add/send Mr. -redacted- an invite on Google Hangout at the following Gmail I.D:(officialhiringdesk@gmail.com). He will be available online to talk to you during these working hours below.

MON-FRI 8:00AM -5:00PM (EST)

SAT 8:00AM-3:00PM(EST)

Your timely response is appreciated.

Best Regards, Human Resources Department

Inline image 1

Copyright © 2016 CliftonLarsonAllen. All rights reserved.

CliftonLarsonAllen Is An Equal Opportunity Employer

We are firmly committed to comply with equal employment opportunity as a matter of sound business policy, corporate responsibility and to comply with the spirit and the letter of all federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. It is the policy of CliftonLarsonAllen to recruit, hire, compensate, train, promote and make all employment decisions in all segments of its workforce without regard to race, color, gender, age, religious beliefs, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.

Privacy, terms of use, and disclaimers CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC disclaimers ©2016 CliftonLarsonAllen. All rights reserved. "CliftonLarsonAllen" and "CLA" refer to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.

Follow up on Google Hangouts

Even though I had a weird feeling, I still followed up via Google Hangouts.

I figured what could hurt with baiting them on a bit.

You can read that full conversation here if you’d like:

I’ll only paste some interesting and phishy bits below:
Where did you come from Yellow Bellied Scammer?

I had been filling out some applications and didn’t know for sure whether this was one of them trying to get in touch with me in a very strange way, so I tried getting some more details. This was another clue

me: In the meantime is there a way that you could send me the official job description or posting for which I applied initially. For the life of me, I can't remember or find the original application.

scammer: As you know there is an open position in my department for an Data Entry Specialist,Receptionist, Administrative Assistant, Accounting Clerk , Customer Service and a Office Manager. Which do you think will be a best suit for you ?

me: I think the Data Entry Specialist is the one that sounds familiar Thanks for your help.

scammer: Let me know once you are set and available for your job interview and job briefing. I look forward talking to you soon.

So I did what needed to be done and then got back to them later.

The chat started and went on and then they said what the job would pay

scammer: The starting pay is $37 per hour and during Training hours you will be paid $22 per hour. You will be paid via these payment methods: WEEKLY/ BI-WEEKLY via Direct deposit or Paycheck. The maximum hours you can work a week is 40 Hours. You are working as a Full-Employee and not an Independent Contractor.

Wow! $37/hour! Not too shabby! Too bad it’s all fake.

So then they ask all sorts of questions among which, strangely worded was the following:

scammer: -What do you understand by Disbursement and Reimbursement and what do you understand by privacy and code of conduct? me: -tooting my own horn-

Done. scammer: ...Well so far so good, you have done well so far. I need you to hold back online for 5-10 minutes so I can forward this conversation to the Head department for review and to see if you are qualified for the job position. I will get back to you shortly me: Sure thing. Thank you.

Sure. Talking to the “head department”.

Sure enough, after ten minutes, the job was mine. Then things got weird.

I’ll talk more about them next time.

I talked more about the second part in my next post