GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — "This is the first time that I've ever had a problem with Indeed," Alex Nowak said.
Nowak graduated from GVSU with an influence in graphic design, so she applied to a job that she thought was for Steelcase.
"'Congratulations, you've been selected to follow up on an interview, it'll be over Google Hangout and it'll be chat based,'" Nowak recalled.
She thought she was talking to someone who really worked for Steelcase.
"She asked me if I had experience working remotely and I was telling her about my current job," Nowak said.
They told her if she got the job, they'd send her some money for furniture.
"They wanted to put a home office in my house so they would send me a check so I can buy the furniture and put it in my house," Nowak said.
The interview began at 11 a.m., but by 3 p.m., the person was continuing to ask Nowak more questions.
"When it was like going into lunchtime and I had to leave, it was getting really fishy," Nowak said. "'I would love to respond to the rest of these but I need to go, I can't do this right now,' and they just sent another six questions and I was like 'what?'"
Nowak is a server at a local restaurant where many "actual" Steelcase employees frequent during lunch breaks.
"I said, 'Oh, I just interviewed with Steelcase yesterday, it was kind of a strange interview. It was chat based and it took like five hours,' and one of the interns was like 'oh, no.'
It was a scam happening all over the country. The people she was talking to online were using the names of legitimate Steelcase employees.
"Then she's like, 'Who was interviewing you,' and I said it was Elise Velo and she's like 'I work with Elise all the time,' and she said, 'What email do you have for her,' so I showed her that email and she said that's not the same email," Nowak said.
They eventually asked Nowak for her bank information to set up a direct deposit, but by that point, she had already figured out that it was bogus.
"I'm just a lot more cautious, because if they did have my bank information they could literally just suck my whole identity," Nowak said.
Steelcase offered tips to prevent scams like this on its website.
The company advises that you make sure the recruiter has an @steelcase.com email address and all available employment opportunities can be viewed at steelcase.com/careers. If a position is not listed there, it is not a legitimate opening.
Steelcase said it will never ask for a financial commitment from candidates before employment.
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