Working online is now an industry. While working for an office environment is still prominent, many business owners are choosing to hire virtual employees because it’s much cheaper than maintaining office workspaces while getting the same quality results. Virtual employees such as Virtual Assistants are paid in many ways. With the help of modern technology, it’s just one click away to send money either via Transferwise, Paypal, Bank Transfer and sometimes even via coins online.
Most of the jobs found online include digital marketing, social media marketing, web designing, bookkeeping, calls, and many more. Ubcoins is a cryptocurrency business that made a buzz in the freelancing world. Recently, there have been rounds that many were scammed by the said business.
What is Ubcoins?
According to kryptomoney.com, Ubcoin is a brand-new cryptocurrency which is built on Ethereum blockchain which is ideal for people who wish to buy products in exchange for cryptocurrencies. The Ubcoin Market is said to be the quickest and easiest way to make exchanges with cryptocurrencies for real tangible goods or vice versa as well.
Ubcoins or Ubicoins are often used by scammers to lure applicants with job posts such as Virtual Assistant where someone will work hand in hand with a client posing as a legitimate one when in reality, this client is a scammer.
These scammers posting as valid clients will often post jobs that seem to be superficial with the offer such as $1000 per month which is unlikely high compared to the job description. Some may think twice even thrice before accepting, but others may take the bait of the huge offer and succumb into the scam.
VA in Debt due to Scam
Recently, a Virtual Assistant was left with almost $3,000 of debt in eBay because of a client from Ubicoins who turned out to be a scammer. Everything was fine until there have been actions such as sharing of Paypal accounts and the virtual assistant is tasked to send and receive a huge amount of money as refunds or payments for several clients in the Philippines.
The workaround has been like this: the VA was asked to lend his Paypal account, and the client will send hundreds of thousands in peso every week for him to send it to various “Pinoy sellers.” Unfortunately, he allowed the transactions to be done using his personal bank account. It turned out that there has been a refund request of at least $3,000 from a camera buyer and in the end, his Paypal account connected to the eBay site is now negative, and he is now facing to settle the balance himself. How come? Because that was the aim of the client from day 1- now, he is facing the debt himself, and the scammer is not responding to his emails and chats anymore.
When he posted his concerns, it turned out that this scheme is now famous and that several freelancers have encountered the same person posing as a client but in real life is a money launderer who targets online workers to do the dirty job for them.
How Does it Work?
Applicants use several channels to look for jobs and scammers are utilizing these sites to attract people and use them for their own dark plans. Sometime, these scammers will pose as someone from Ubicoins and tell that they are doing auctions online using selling sites such as eBay. It’s more like a usual assistant job where you will process financial transactions for the client and their customers o buyers. It seems legitimate, right? But how can we say that the job is not legitimate?
Aside from such instances where your employer is asking you to use your personal bank accounts, Paypal, Ubcoin, Bitcoin or Skrill for payment transactions, other scams include employers asking down payments before you even start working for them and so much more.
The signs can be misleading but can be easily noticed if you are keen enough to observe things. Below are the things you should always keep in mind when working online to avoid such instances:
What Can the VA do?
The thread online caught the attention of many, and it became a warning call for everyone. It turned out that many were victimized by the same scammer. But what actions can be done by the victim? Luckily, there are freelancers who happen to know that such acts can be directed to the NBI as it is already being investigated by the bureau. Others said that he can cooperate with the bureau about it. Paypal, fortunately, has a community regarding issues that involve legal actions and attention. It is known in the community that scammers use Paypal directly to perform scams using eBay. With this, the VA can start following up with his financial issue.
Secondly, he can also seek legal advice from legal clinics or firms to secure his accounts and identity and know how much the implications will be. Lastly, he should be extra careful the next time he encounters a client that appears to be requiring the same illegal acts of money laundering. Building awareness within oneself is very important in keeping yourself safe from scammers as such.
Who is at fault?
It’s hard to point fingers especially when someone was scammed and fooled, and we can only do so much about it. There are always two sides to a story, and knowing it can greatly help not only the victim but others as well. It is a scammers’ fault for being inhumane enough to make other people who just want to earn a living suffer the consequences of their actions. However, it is also a freelancer’s job to be vigilant and smart enough to site unreasonable job offers and processes online.
Taking care of our dignity is a job we should consider aside from making sure we earn a living. Money is what helps us put bread on the table, but a distinct and suspicious amount of money will not bring that. It will only bring misfortune, problems, and even criminal involvement. We can’t do anything about it but to be very cautious. There are several mediums to seek advice and research on potential clients and doing a little bit of background check and research before saying “Yes” is always a good choice.
By passion and profession, Eunice is a content writer and a digital marketing enthusiast.
Her passion for her blog has landed her opportunities to continue her aspirations on becoming a content writer for digital marketing companies online. She graduated with a degree in Broadcast Communication from one of the top universities in the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines or PUP.
She has worked for 5 years within the BPO Industry where she handled social media and eContent marketing. She was considered as one of the top performers and transferred from one role to another throughout the years. Now, she is focusing on enhancing her skills in becoming a seasoned and trusted content writer for the growing digital platforms.