I’m going to tell you about how I was scammed when I first started my journey into Medical Coding.
How it Started
Back in 2015 I was looking for work and I had this bright idea of making money online. I had heard about people doing it and I thought it might be a good way to avoid the pain trying to get out and around. Also, it was the embarrassment of trying to get around when I moved slower than I even thought was possible. So I started looking up things like:
- work from home
- make money online
- make money from your computer at home
- get an online job
- online jobs that pay well
During my searching, I came across a lot of things that said I could work at home as a medical coder. I thought, “great!” However, my excitement was short lived as almost every place that I signed up for wanted me to pay. I typically don’t pull out my credit card and buy things online unless I’m at Amazon so I kept looking.
The Carrot they Kept Dangling
Most of the things I was finding made it sound guaranteed! “Just fill out these forms and we will get your info right over to the hiring manager or HR department.” They all said the same things and after filling out about 20 different forms I gave in to one of them and paid the $295 as they seemed the most likely to be real.
So I had paid them and I got an email that any time I would start getting calls. And I did, however, the calls I started getting were not like calls I had gotten before. Offers to raise my credit limit, lower my interest rate. Calls from people saying they are with the IRS but sounding like they come from the East. I’m sure now they sold my phone number to these scammers.
But like a good boy, I just waited. The next month rolls around and I see something I’m not expecting. $97 billed right to my credit card. I go back and read the emails and website and sure enough, these jokers had tricked me. I was on the hook for $97 for the next 4 months.
I was so mad. You could say I was enraged. I literally yelled out, “How could I miss this?”
Rather than canceling, even though we desperately needed the money, I thought that it might lead to a job. So I waited for more time.
I Had Enough
During the 4th month looking at another $97 charge on my credit card. I decided it was time to take an accounting.
Emails from prospective employers = 0
Calls from prospective employers = 0
Emails from people wanting to sell me stuff that I had never heard of = 1,478
Yeah, your reading that right! Over 10 new emails daily offering me to make money online doing surveys, placing ads, starting my own business, and the list goes on and on. I knew it had to be these guys I was paying. They weren’t giving me any results and I was getting spammed left and right. I should go back and look at the phone records to figure out how many scam calls I got, but I’ll leave that for another day.
Canceling with these jokers was no picnic either. I called their support line to be bounced from person to person for nearly 1 hr. Then I was told that I “couldn’t cancel” and if I were to the full amount was due now. But I didn’t care I wasn’t about to give these guys another dime let alone nearly $200. I emailed their support and explained my problems. The email I got back was really interesting as it said they had sent out my information to nearly 500 ’employment opportunities’.
You might be thinking excatly what I was thinking at the time. These ’employment opportunities’ were their scammer buddies. In the end, I had to call the credit card company to get it resolved. Lucky when I was on the phone with them explaining the situation they explained that I could do a chargeback and I said, “H— YES!”
And that was the end of my scammers aside from a few nasty calls and emails after about a week I never heard from them again.
I Found the Truth
So what I learned was don’t pay some people that are promising something like a job. When have you ever had to pay an employer to get a job? It almost seems silly as I write it now like ‘I should have known,’ but I was caught up in the idea of working from home and medical coding had caught my attention.
Because I had set in my mind that Medical Coding was going to be a good fit for me I decided to press forward and see what I could make happen.
Since then I have learned the only people that get to ‘work at home’ are people that have been doing it for years. And it is not what you might imagine for a work at home job. You don’t get to head into your office every few hours after playing with your kids and ‘knock a few things out’ then get back to the fun. (I’m sorry if that is nieve that is what I really thought for the longest time.)
Instead, it is like heading into the office only with the convenience of not having to get through traffic and being back home as soon as work is done. The people I work with that are able to do it from home say it is an 8 hr ‘job’ for them each day.
But don’t worry I was able to find work as a Medical Coder shortly after this incident and I will get to telling you about that in my next post.