Q: Liability for Independent Contractor processing payment checks?
I am an independent freelance contractor who has been contacted by a potential employer for virtual assistance. They are hoping that I can commit transactions for customers on their products and process orders for their customers in form of checks. I am wary of the opportunity as it seems a little phishy, but the job opportunity and pay would be good for me. What should I get from them to confirm that they were a legitimate business? They've written a contract and I said that I would commit to work if I can amend the part that says I deposit customer funds into a personal account, and instead into a business account that THEY the business owns.
1. DESCRIPTION OF SERVICE. Beginning on February 18, 2018. __ will provide the following services; Prepare the invoice and send out to customers who are willing to purchase our products, receiving payment from customers. To process the payment, you proceed with the check deposit in your bank account via the mobile deposit/over counter.
This is a very common Internet fraud that lawyers have been seeing for at least a year. I used to get a couple such emails a week. I guess they’ve moved on to non-lawyers, because I warned someone off this on Avvo.com last week. Most likely, the checks you receive are bad, but they take 2 weeks to fail to collect, usually because they are international, and by that time, you have issued some or all of the payment from your bank account to the defrauders. You are responsible as indorser for the bad checks and for defrauding the bank.
In a recent variant, the foreign party claims they will get the money to you in a liquid form, such as wires. If that is really true, and I haven’t confirmed it, you are probably conspiring to commit money laundering. You need a legal review before doing this, because there is a 98.5% chance this is a crime, and you are either the victim or the criminal.
If it looks to good to be true, run, don’t walk, to the exit.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.