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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Westwood Virtual Staffing SCAM

    This was posted on another site, but she asked for us to post any place it might help.

    __________________________________________________ ________
    Good afternoon,

    My name is Mary with Virtual Office Temps. A few days ago I was made aware of a work at home scam that I am trying to spread the word about.

    Westwood Virtual Staffing is charging job seekers $24.95 claiming to have virtual assistant positions available. Once you pay the fee you will be directed to our website (www.virtualassistantjobs.com) and told to apply.

    WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED with Westwood Virtual Staffing. Furthermore, we have never given Westwood Virtual Staffing any authorization to link to our site, charge a fee on behalf of our services or repost our virtual assistant projects.

    We are very concerned about this because we do not charge a fee - ever! Our job candidates will never pay a fee to apply or be hired. Furthermore, an affiliation with Westwood Virtual Staffing will not help you land a job with us or even qualify. This is very disturbing because we have received hundreds of letters over the last few days from people who have paid the fee only to be directed to our website where they are welcomed to apply for free.

    Therefore, if anyone here has been a victim of this scam, I urge you to contact me at vot@virtualassistantjobs.com

    We have also posted information about this scam at: http://www.virtualassistantjobs.com/scam.html

    VOT is a virtual staffing organization. Our fees are paid by the EMPLOYER, not the job seeker. We offer short term virtual project work in a variety of areas. We currently have 2,500 active virtual assistants who are working from a remote location. We post projects for new virtual assistants as they come available FOR FREE. We invite anyone with skills to apply. There are no fees to be hired.

    Our company has never at anytime been associated or affiliated with Westwood Virtual Staffing. We are doing the best we can to shut them down so your letters and stories will help. You can also visit www.ripoffreport.com and file a complaint or read our replies regarding this scam. We hope to have more information very soon with regards to where you can file a complaint and I have contacted a legal representative to help us obtain information regarding class action status.

    I am also in the process or preparing a package for authorities. I am hoping my efforts will help some of you obtain a refund from Westwood Virtual Staffing. I can't promise anything, but - again - if you have been scammed, please let me know so that I can add you to the list of victims and keep you up to date on my progress.

    One last thing, this afternoon I spoke with a representative from Mastercard and Visa. If you used a credit card to pay the Westwood Virtual Staffing fee, I urge you to contact your card provider TODAY. Tell them that you were scammed (I can provide a statement on your behalf if you card company needs one). You'll then need to tell your credit card company that you want to "chargeback" the unauthorized charges - that you did not give permission nor did you sign a credit card slip for the purchase. From my understanding, this is the best way to obtain a refund.

    If you have been scammed, I am so very sorry. Please know that we were unaware of this until just a few days ago and will do all that we can to help you.

    Please contact me at vot@virtualassistantjobs.com

    Thank you

    Mary - Virtual Assistant Coordinator / Virtualofficetemps.com
    __________________________________________________ _______

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: Westwood Virtual Staffing SCAM

    Another update from Mary

    Another update.

    I've just heard from another victim who was scammed by America Resource Center (ARC), http://www.americanresourcecenter.org

    It is my understanding that ARC does the same thing as Westwood. You pay the fee and then they give you a link to our website.

    So, please watch out for this one too. If you've been scammed by ARC please contact me

    Thanks again


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: Westwood Virtual Staffing SCAM

    Here is information on how and where to file complaints and/or attempt to get a refund from the Westwood scam:

    Obtaining a refund from Westwood is going to be very difficult. However, if you used a credit card to pay the fee - you do have a few resources.


    Call your credit card provider ASAP. Do not wait. Tell them that you have been a victim of a scam and that there is a fraudulent charge on your account. Tell your credit card company that you want to "chargeback" or "reverse" the $24.95 fee. (It would be a good idea to locate the credit card statement with the charge from Westwood before you call so that you will have the necessary details handy - such as the data of the transaction and the billing name that appears on your card).

    Tell your credit card provider that you did NOT authorize that company to charge your card. Tell them that you did NOT sign a sales or credit slip showing that you authorized the charge. Let your credit card provider know that the company is a scam and that you have proof.

    You might want to print out our scam report to send or fax to your card provider. Here is the link:


    Most credit card providers will give you up to 6 months to a year to request a "chargeback" so it is important that you contact your provider today since they all seem to have different guidelines.

    You might also want to tell your credit card company to either issue you new cards - or deny any future charges made to your card from Westwood (in case they attempt to charge your card again in the future).

    Going through your credit card provider is probably the ONLY way that you are going to be able to obtain a refund from Westwood. You can try other methods such as filing a complaint with the BBB, but there are already many, many complaints filed and no victim has yet to receive a refund.

    The next thing that you'll want to do is file a complaint. Be sure to mention the URL of the site that scammed you (www.westwoodvirtualstaff.biz) - Provide dates, a copy of your receipt or credit card statement or emails that you received from Westwood. You might also want to provide a copy of our scam report: http://www.virtualassistantjobs.com/scam.html


    Here are a list of organizations and links where you should submit your complaint (Please do this ASAP - the sooner the better - the longer you wait the lower your chances are going to be of obtaining a refund or assistance!)

    1. File a complaint at www.ripoffreport.com

    2. Submit a complaint to Westwood's Credit card processor (this is the company that is handling the credit card and check payments for Westwood)
    By Mail: LinkPoint International, P.O. Box 2048, Simi Valley, CA 93062.
    By Email: support@linkpoint.com and/or privacyofficer@linkpoint.com

    3. Submit a complaint to First Data Corp. (This is the parent company for the Linkpoint credit card processing system).
    By Mail: First Data Corp, Corporate Headquarters, 6200 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
    Online: http://www.firstdata.com/contact_inquiry.jsp

    4. File a complaint with Westwood's domain holder. (This is the company that is protecting Westwood. They are hiding Westwood's private contact information so that you cannot access it.) Tell them that you have been scammed by the company that owns the domain: westwoodvirtualstaff.biz
    By Mail: DomainsByProxy.com, 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 -and/or - DOMAINS BY PROXY, Attn: Legal Complaints, 15111 N. Hayden Road, Suite 160, PMB 353, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
    By Email: (all of the following) WESTWOODVIRTUALSTAFF.BIZ@domainsbyproxy.com, abuse@domainsbyproxy.com, generalmanager@domainsbyproxy.com, compliance@domainsbyproxy.com

    5. File a complaint with the web hosting firm that is hosting the Westwoodvirtualstaff.biz website. This company is called Freewebs.com
    Online: http://members.freewebs.com/abuse.jsp -and- http://newaccounts.freewebs.com/ques...supportID=243& amp;username=

    6. File a complaint with the FTC

    7. File a complaint with the BBB

    8. File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center

    I will keep you posted as to any new information that I receive on this scam. And I do hope that the information that I've provided will help you obtain a refund, or at the very least, prevent others from becoming a victim of this scam. The best thing that you can do is ACT QUICKLY and send as many complaint letters, emails and forms that you can. There is strength in numbers - so if we all complain at once we are sure to get noticed!

    Please keep me posted.

    Thank you and good luck

    Mary from Virtualofficetemps.com

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