By Becky Billingsley
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, Myrtle Beach - A local bartender uncovered a new type of Craigslist scam targeting bartenders.
Marnie Kennedy of Myrtle Beach loves her current job as a bartender at Island Bar & Grill in Surfside Beach and isn't considering leaving it, but she was curious about a Craigslist ad soliciting for a part-time bartender and promising high wages. She sent an inquiry, and the response she received sounded suspicious. Her next step was to contact Myrtle Beach Restaurant News so other area service industry employees could be alerted.
The original ad Kennedy responded to is no longer on the Myrtle Beach Craigslist site, but it has appeared in other cities' Craigslist help wanted ads throughout the United States and internationally. Research reveals the scammers also have targeted other occupations in the scam, including servers, house cleaners and drivers.
The scammers ask the applicant for personal information, and bait is dangled in the form of offering a week's pay in advance. Then the scammer sends a check for too much money and asks the applicant to refund the excess. However, the original check is no good, and the applicant loses the refund amount.
Here is the response Kennedy received to her inquiry:
Thanks for your email and respond toward the servers/bartenders
position i posted on Craigslist, Am sorry for my late response, I'm
Mark Raffterry Am The ZaZa Italian Gastro Bar.. We have Bar /
Restaurant all over USA with Head Office located in Stamford, CT, We
just acquiring Bar & Restaurant in your city which is under
renovation now and it will be opening on 20th of Dec 2011 Which will
be same day you are going to get started. The Former Owners of the
restaurant make an emotional appeal not to announce the name of the
restaurant at this point untill the opening day or some reasons in
their family, So we need someone who could work as a good
servers/bartenders, this job is shifting, morning start from 10am to
3pm and mid day start from 3pm to 8pm, Monday to Friday and just
specify your best choice when you are getting back to us. You will
be earning $350 per week exclude the tips, we will be needing your
services for live hours daily, also we need to get you informed that
we are going to send you advance payment of your first week so you
can be able to get everything you need as you know we need clean and
well presented people also i need to get you informed that my
financier will be
handling payment for your service they will issue you your first
check once i got your information. I will like you to get back to me
with requested information below.
Your Full Name:
Your Residence address(NOT P.O Box):
Home and mobile Phone numbers:
Your Age and Current Occupation:
All we need from you is total honesty and sincerity. I know you will
be committed to the work, You will also have a nice period of working
with us. I will be waiting to hear from you.
ZaZa Italian Gastro Bar.
There is a restaurant called ZaZa Italian Gastro Bar in Stamford, Conn. A call was placed on Dec. 14 to the restaurant to ask if the owners are aware of the Craigslist ads, but the person who answered the phone refused to comment.
Kennedy had no intention of responding to the e-mail she felt was obviously a scam, because she recognized the offer was too good to be true, it asked for too much personal information and because of the multiple misspellings that sounded like English is not the writer's first language.