Monday, February 7, 2011

Firefax Scam - Online Job Scam

If you visited this site, then it could be you were researching the background of your employer with the same name or you have already been affected by this outrageous fraud, either directly or indirectly. Yes, me and a few of my colleagues were a victim of this Firefax scam, my purpose in creating this is to erase all doubts that this "company" is indeed a fraud and we advise you to stay clear of them if they managed to contact you and e-mail you for a job offer.

It was just last year of November that my friend set himself up online, looking for a job. It was at this time that he received an email from Firefax Corporation, and all ready equipped to work, applied as a Virtual Assistant for this so-called company.

After almost a week, he was approved and he approached me as I was also at this time unemployed. Seeing no harm in trying it, I also sent in an application, filled in their interview, signed the contract and was due to work for them on December. I checked them out again: they had a website(though poorly made), a contract and promising training. We signed a contract for 2 years, and the job for Virtual Assistant was shifts of 8 hours, 6 days a week. It seemed like a long 1st month was coming.

Hook, Line and Sinker
Apparently, we were informed during our 1st week that there was a probation period of 30 days for newly hired employees. According to this rule, we would only be qualified to receive our payroll after the 30 days were finished. Apparently, we had no idea what a big loophole they had with this one single rule.

The 1st few weeks were training for the future projects that we were supposed to handle. We were assigned a "team lead" to monitor us, had us review tutorial videos and do the training. The system that they use already perked up my doubts: We were to fill in a Checking In (C.I.) form, a Signing Out (SOR) form, and an hourly report (PHR) every shift.  All of which were answered by application our team lead used to send in automated replies for each of those forms. So basically, our work shifts were monitored by a bot. Questions were entertained though, whenever it was about certain projects or such. The system was such a huge bother and ,as I would soon discover, the bane of all of us who did work there.

December had already finished and my 30 days were due on the first week of January. When the day came, we were supposed to fill out another form, Payroll Qualification (PQ). Here we had to email to our team lead our C.Is, SORs and PHRs of the previous month. When we sent it to their "Payroll Department", they replied that the last payroll period was on the 1st of January and that we should send our PQ before the 1st day of NEXT month. Now, you would know how we took it of course, we were outraged as we had already finished training and were starting on actual projects. They apologized that this had to happen, but they said that we must follow rules and that "there are no exceptions to this". The payroll period, they said, was strictly on the 1st of each month. In retaliation my friend quit.

My friends said that Firefax replied to him and said that if he quit now, he would be violating the contract of two years and said that they would deduct him of 5x of his salary, which was absurd because he never received his salary anyway. Now of course, half of me wanted to quit, but the other half saw a point in their argument (now I think that this was just plain stupid). I decided to try it though, and proceeded to work for them for January, though half-heartedly.

Me and my friends had already started researching on their background during this time, and we found that their website had a page called Corporate Leadership. It had the names and positions of the CEO and staff of the corporation, my friends and I tried searching for the names of the people involved. None of them which bore any decent or direct results linking to Firefax. We also found that the website had just been created on November 2010, also the month with which my friend had received their email. Even with all these incriminating evidence, I was thinking along the lines as: "well, as long I get paid" and "At least I got some training" then I proceeded to finish up my work for January.

For one month I always wondered why we had no contacts of any of our coworkers, but because of one shared project, I got their contacts and I emailed them asking if any of them had received payroll. Of the 6 people I tried to contact, a few replied and one of them confirmed payroll and the others had the same situation as me as well as some of their friends too. I asked him (the one who got paid) when he started working and he said that it was on the last week of November. It was then that I noticed there were no employees who worked before November, despite their talk that "Firefax had been founded a few years back" and that "we are a very large company". But, anyway, SOMEONE got paid and it was this news that I felt a bit reassured.

It was almost the end of the month again, and by this time I was sure that there were no rules to prevent me from qualifying for payroll. I remained in contact with those that I had previously emailed in case the worst would happen. Of course, they also had their doubts.

Now February 1 had come and we had sent in our PQ forms. It was February 2 that we got a reply from the "Payroll Dept." again. If you read the story up to now, you would know how this ends. We were again denied  for payroll, but now, because of different reasons. I emailed the rest and the reasons Firefax gave us were: incomplete projects, incomplete CI or lateness. It seems that even ONE lateness would deny you payroll for that month and have to send the PQ form on the 1st of NEXT month. We proceeded to badger our team lead with tons of complaints, only some of which were replied to which were all the same: try next month. And not one of us got our 2 months worth of payroll.

Tit for Tat
So after a few days of complaints that would go days unanswered, we quit. An online discussion about if "firefax corporation is existing" (that was unanswered until after the gravity of the Firefax scam hit us on February 2) on wiki answers started to pile up in replies after that. This went on for a few days, and it seemed a contact of Firefax had seen this discussion and started working to negate our comments. The answer would be altered sometimes, and apparently their "Staff's" pictures were stolen from different websites and when someone posted the source of the pictures, the "Staff" page was taken down in a few hours. It was then that we noticed that Firefax took back our emails created for their purposes, and was the center of all our "work" done there. That seemed to me, as much as a confession as I would get from them.

I would have decided not to have anything to do with them any further but then I heard recently that they had continued hiring and started posting misleading videos and comments on discussions of their validity. This can not be more insulting to us who were scammed with the Firefax fraud and those who would look for decent jobs online.

I really do hope you, whoever planned this, will go down.

1 comment:

  1. My friend is currently employed at this firefax company. She's almost done with her 30 days probation.. Is this really a scam?..