Simtra BioPharma Solutions - scam or legitimate?

Date05/21/2024
AuthorItchybytes
Details / precisions5/20/21 Today, I received a text for someone who said her name was Victoria Robles and she is from the Human Resources department at Simtra BioPharma Solutions. She said she had seen my resumé and wanted to know if I was interested in interviewing with them. I asked if it was a remote position; she answered yes. I asked what the position I might be considered for and she listed several things, among them the keyword (proofreader) that I use to search Indeed, Simply Hired, Ziprecruiter, and Monster. Anyone know anything about this person and/or this company? Someone has texted me and said it was a scam, but this website (Scamwatcher) has changed, and I can't navigate well enough to search it, though I will keep on trying. I've committed to nothing as of yet. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

17 comments

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  • GW 05/22/2024 at 03:13 PM

    I received a similar text today from Hannah Fernandez at Simtra BioPharma Solutions. I asked for a job description and she listed many job titles only (business/administrative/finance/HR in nature along with typist and proofreading). I guess attending an interview wouldn't be risky. I'm still trying to decide what to do.

    • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 03:56 PM

      GW, please see the latest comments from stop_da_scammers and me, Itchybytes.- May 27 & 28. Just want you to be aware in case you decided to accept a position with these folks. I've no doubt now but that it is, indeed, a scam.

    Reply
  • Itchybytes 05/22/2024 at 08:36 PM

    GW, I did the interview this morning. They use the Element app, which you can download on your smartphone and your computer. It was with a man who said he was Ben Gibson, Phd. It was VERY lengthy, and I thought was one of the best interviewers and interviews I've ever had. I am to meet with him again in the morning to learn the results of the interview. I've been fooled (badly!) before, and I, too, had second thought about the legitimacy of this. But if I am offered the position, I'm going to accept it. I'll be only part-time and I have another part-time job and my retirement Social Security, so what can it hurt? The first time they ask for me to give them money or to purchase something for which they will reimburse me, I'm outta there. I'll keep you posted should something odd occur and will do it here on Scamwatcher.

    Reply
  • jk 05/23/2024 at 02:46 PM

    This has to be a SCAM. No reason for the Element app. My lengthy intv was with another alleged PhD, Matthew McClain. I got the "feedback" this morning from yesterday's intv., and it's now moved on to an offer, the computer I'm supposed to buy and all the software programs. This is total nonsense.

    • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 03:58 PM

      You were absolutely right, jk. Every lesson I learn, I learn the hard way! But those are the ones most easily remembered. I went down the same road, and if you want details, please see my posts of May 28. At least, all I lost was time!

    Reply
  • Itchybytes 05/23/2024 at 03:57 PM

    jk, you may be right, but I hope not. I, too, was offered the job after yesterday's interview, and I accepted it. As I said in my initial post, what can it hurt? As long as they don't ask me for money, I'm OK with it...otherwise, I'm turning tail and running. As it turns out, they are sending me a check via FedEx. When it arrives, I'm to deposit it into my personal bank account and then purchase a laptop computer and the necessary software. I bank with Regions, and if they think it is illegitimate, they won't honor it - point in my favor. And if it clears, then it must be OK. However, I'll wait a little while before spending any of their money so I won't have to reimburse Regions should they later discover something fishy. They have a really good fraud department, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Regions saved my butt when I fell for another job scam some time ago; they refused to honor the check that the a$$hole sent. All I lost was time. That was the Rachel Holloway and Elite Trucking Company scam, which I detailed here on Scam Watcher. I also accepted a part-time job with another company last week; we are still in the paperwork and verification stage. I think it's legitimate as it was advertised on the Indeed website, and I applied for it through them. It didn't just come out of the blue like this Simtra one did. I'll keep you all posted here. So, I'll either end up with two part-time jobs or one. Makes no difference to me, as long as I don't lose my own money. We'll... Read more


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  • stop_da_scammers 05/28/2024 at 12:03 AM

    It sounds like a fake check scam.

    Please remember that scammers can make fake indeed profiles and jobs with no problems.

    No legit company will send you a check then have YOU send money elsewhere to receive "work equipment"(to the scammers) A legit company will secure the equipment for you.

    The funds you see in the account after depositing a check is only there due to bank laws. Remember that a check can take days or weeks to be caught fake. Scammers want you to send money elsewhere before it gets caught.

    Depending on the bank, if you deposit a fake check the bank doesn't know you did it unintentionally. For all they know you're trying to defraud them so if you did deposit it go talk to the bank fraud department ASAP. Tell them what happened. Some banks will not want to continue having you as a client if they think you're a risk with scams.

    Reply
  • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 09:22 AM

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! I have been down this (scam) road before. A supposedly legitimate check was sent to me, and I was to spend it on whatever. However, as my bank (Regions) was suspicious, they accepted the deposit, but withheld the funds as "pending" for 10 days, meaning I could not access those funds until the deposit moved from pending to actually being in my account. It turned out that the check was NOT legitimate, and the bank refused to make the funds available to me. Their wise action saved my butt! I expect Regions will do the same in this instance. In fact, when I go to the bank to deposit the check, I will request that it be researched thoroughly as I suspect it to be an illegitimate job offer. In my previous experience with this type of thing, the 'employer' insisted on my depositing the check electronically. I did so but called the bank to suggest it be thoroughly looked into. They did, withholding the check for the 10-day period, and, as I said, saved my butt. In my opinion, Regions has a terrific fraud department and did me a great service, for which I am very grateful. And I will lose nothing but time. When that happened previously, I informed the 'employer' that my bank was holding the check, and I heard "Has your bank made the funds available? just about daily. Eventually, they quit calling and I never heard from them again. I reported that incidence to every institutional body, the FBI's IC3 department, the FCC, my local police... Read more

    • stop_da_scammers 05/28/2024 at 01:07 PM

      Sorry to hear that - being scammed is NEVER fun and can be a stressful time. Glad to hear you have an understanding bank that will help you and looks out for you!

      I guess on the bright side of things you know what red flags to look out for. Just stay safe and good luck on the job hunt!!

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  • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 03:51 PM

    Thank you, Stop, for your kind words! Yes, being scammed is an insult in so many ways, but the main thing is that I have learned a lot about how to attempt to identify the red flags. I've worked in the healthcare field for many years (now retired but looking for a "side hustle," as I believe a little job to make a little extra cash is called now). In my role in healthcare, I lived by these words to those to whom I gave instruction: "No mistake is a bad one unless you fail to learn from it - unless, of course, you damage or kill someone with your mistake." I apply that to myself as well.

    Now for an update: I am more certain now that it is a scam, as the person with whom I've interviewed did not show up (on Element) for a scheduled meeting this morning. There was no confusion as to the date and time, as he was very specific in his instructions, even mentioning the difference in our time zones (he is in EDT and I'm in CDT). I left him a note on Element to email me if he wants to reschedule. That was several hours ago, and I've heard zip from him. His silence speaks volumes! Unless, of course, he's laying up in some hospital bed either unconscious or with amnesia!

    And yes, my bank is terrific! They probably would have pulled my butt out of this fire, too, had this scam progressed.

    I consider this over and done. However, should I hear anything else from this guy, I will post it here. I'd like to help others to avoid being taken in. As it is, all I lost was time, fortunately. But I'm... Read more

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  • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 04:38 PM

    Just a little more information. I attempted to get in touch with the HR department at SMS but could not determine how to do it. Since SMS is said to be an offshoot of Baxter, I went to the Baxter careers page, hoping to find an email address or phone number for their HR department. Again, no luck, but I was referred to this site: https://www.baxter.com/careers. There I saw a statement that leads me to believe that they are already aware of scammers trying to use them to perpetuate their fraudulent schemes. I tried to copy and paste the paragraphs to post them here, but their website didn't allow me to do that. So, I got a screen shot and have posted it here in the "add an image' spot. I hope it's legible. IF not, and you'd like to read it, use the URL above.


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  • stop_da_scammers 05/28/2024 at 11:41 PM

    Wow, Itchybytes - I just wanted to applaud you for all the information you've gotten and gathered together. It must have taken a while! Please stay safe and have a good day! :)

    Reply
  • Itchybytes 05/28/2024 at 11:46 PM

    Thank you, Stop! Yes, it took a while, but when somebody fools around with me, I want to do everything I can do to 1) make them regret it; 2) try to see that they are unable to screw around with anyone else. I'm retired, so I have all the time in the world, and when motivated, as I am with this crap, I'm like a snapping turtle...I don't let go until I'm ready to let go! I hope you take care, and have a great week! ;)

    Reply
  • LooneyLuna 05/29/2024 at 09:22 AM

    Hi Itchybytes, I just wanted to thank you for this thread. I am currently being scammed by these people and had initially thought it was too good to be true, but the interview process took almost three hours, the pay was fantastic, and I am extremely optimistic so I was along for the ride I guess.

    I was contacted on Friday via text message from Hannah Fernandez. talked to someone on the Element app on Friday and Yesterday, was offered a job, signed a "document", and was told to report back at 9 AM this morning, and be punctual. I unfortunately gave my address for the check to come to, but I am hoping deleting the Element App and completely ghosting them might make them drop it.

    I am glad I found this thread yesterday as my husband and I were suspicious when everything was moving so fast and I was asked to install a ton of software onto the computer that I was either being sent or was supposed to buy. I have been checking in on it to see how it was going for you, and nothing else of a scam was popping up when searching, and if you hadn't posted, I may have continued to go through with it.

    It is kinda heartbreaking to be honest, but I am glad that nothing more was taken except for the wind out of my sails.

    Anyway, thank you. I am attaching a picture of the document I had to electronically sign.


    • Itchybytes 05/29/2024 at 02:15 PM

      Hello, again, Luna. I have examined the document you attached and I find it to be benign. I didn't see a place for you to sign it. Did they direct you to a different site where you could sign it electronically? If so, which site? If you had to mail it via the USPS, then mail fraud comes into play.

      A couple of things that threw up immediate red flags for me were:
      1. In the list of benefits provided to me,of which there were many, they included 'pet insurance.' I have never, ever seen a company include pet insurance in their benefit package.
      2. I was told that I could work as a full-time or part-time employee. I was informed that, even if I was a part-time employee and regardless of the number of hours that I worked, I would still be eligible for the full benefit package. Again, I know of NO company that offers part-time employees a full benefit package regardless of the number of hours they worked. Some companies do offer benefits to part-time employees, but they are usually required to work a minimum number of hours, usually 30/week.

      Those two things (among others) are the two biggest red flags that assured me that this must be a scam.

      Live and learn! :)

    • LooneyLuna 05/29/2024 at 04:43 PM

      Hello Itchybytes,

      I was taken to different site to sign. It was OneFlow, I just checked. I only electronically signed and did not have to send anything in. Two people needed to sign and the guy that I was talking to also signed the document.

      It definitely was a red flag that they offered so many benefits, but I didn't really get tipped off until they listed all of the software they wanted me to download. There was so much, I got only about halfway through reading them when my husband said, "All of that?"

      I think it was that coupled with they were sending me a check in the mail and were going to tell me where and when and what to buy. I was sure they would do all of that for me, but I thought they were sending me a computer at first.

      They offered me full time 40 hours and that I could pick my hours, great PTO, etc. As I said, thought it was too good to be true but I was hoping it wasn't so I just kept going.

      I uninstalled the Element app and started getting the messages instead delivered to my spam folder, so I was being messaged after I didn't show up this morning at 9 AM.

      I am hoping I don't end up getting a check in the mail but if I do I have been informed I need to take it to the police.

      Thank you again for the thread!

    Reply
  • Itchybytes 05/29/2024 at 11:30 PM

    Calling the police is good advice! I plan to do the same, even though I never received a check. I am also reporting this to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). They have a form, and you can find it at https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint. Since they used my smartphone's text feature and the Internet, I'm also reporting it to the FCC at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov. Third, I'll report this to the FTC; check out this site: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/. And my last one is the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. May sound like a duplicate effort, but who cares?

    This sounds like a bunch of work, but it's really pretty easy. As long as you can copy and paste, you'll just have to write the details once and then use it for anyone to whom you file a complaint. Takes a little time, but the effort you make may help someone else eventually. Even if they don't catch these scammers (the odds are slim and none), at least, it will be on file and may help someone eventually.

    Best of luck to you!


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