Online Purchase

Scam Type

Online Purchase Scam

Date Reported

2023-05-23 00:00:00

Victim Postal Code


Total Dollars Lost


Scam Description

This report is being filed on behalf of GreatSchools.org who’s name was used in a phishing scam targeted at potential job seekers who had UX Researcher experience and were tagged as “Open to Work” on LinkedIn.
We have received countless reports of an email received from “Keith Ellis” using careers@greatschools.work and/or “Mark Thompson” using markthompson@greatschools.work inviting candidates to a one hour job interview. From what we’ve pieced together from those who have reached out, the timeline seems to be:
1. Email received from “Mark Thompson” and or “Keith Ellis” Inviting candidates to schedule a one-hour interview via Microsoft Teams chat.
2. Interview is conducted with “Mark Thompson” via chat and lasts anywhere from 60-90 minutes, with 20 or more questions that seem accurate for a UX Researcher role.
3. A work sample is requested which includes usability testing, creating a research plan, and reporting on data analysis.
4. A call is received from a nameless Texas phone number asking about satisfaction with the interview process, stating their commitment to improvement, and stating that they have research showing interviews over chat are more effective.
5. A fictitious offer letter is sent along with other falsified documents claiming to have pertinent business info.
6. Once the offer letter is sent back, candidates received an e-check for amounts between $3,000-$5,000 which candidates are asked to deposit into their personal accounts for use on work related equiptment
7. An invoice is then sent with vendor listed as “GreatSchools approved Vendor” listing things like a Macbook pro, heaset, and ipad.
8. Candidates are then asked to pay the invoice via Venmo, citing several blockers to being able to use other payment methods such as check or card.
These fictitious people have gone so far as to make LinkedIn accounts listing us as employers, which we have already filed multiple reports with LinkedIn about:

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