Lately, more than hundred job seekers have received job offers allegedly from Prothera Biologics. The texts often claim recipients resume were found on LinkedIN and they’re qualified for a data entry job.

The remote job offer isn’t from Prothera Biologics (a biotech pharmaceutical firm). Firstly, the company does not send job seekers unsolicited job offers. Secondly, the content of the text messages and the recruitment process has all the red flags of an employment scam.

How The Prothera Biologics Fake Job Scam Works

  • The scammers entice job seekers with high income pay and benefits via texts
  • Once you indicate interest, a fake interview would be conducted either on Signal, Telegram, or on WhatsApp. After which you’d be told you’ve been hired.
  • Once you accept the fake job offer, the scammers would use ‘work equipment fee’ tactics to scam you. A third party would be introduced as a vendor whom you’re to buy equipment from. However, this person is included in the scam. Whatever check sent to you wouldn’t appear on your bank account, but you’d be coerced to make the payment for the equipment with your own money while you wait for the check to be approved by your bank.

All these are examples of advance fee scam and are quite common with fake employment. Once you make the payment, the scammers would disappear and cease all communication with you.

Yearly, thousands of job seekers fall prey to job scams, especially remote job offers. So how do you stay protected? what are the red flags of job scams?

Warning Signs of Job Scams

1 – Unsolicited Recruitment Text

Received an unsolicited job offer via WhatsApp, text message or email? There’s a likelihood that it’s a scam, especially if it came from a company you’ve never applied to. Legit companies wouldn’t send you job texts out of the blues. There’s always a due process for hiring.

2- Too Good To Be True Pay

This is one of the very first red flags. It’s true we all like the idea of being paid high, but when the quoted pay is far above what the industry normally pays, you need to pause. If they’re promising to pay higher than the market rate, tread with caution. Sometimes they might promise unrealistic work hours with no specific skill for huge pay, making the job look irresistible. That’s just a bait with which to entice their victims.

3 – Conducts a Shallow Interview

The interview process is always a dead giveaway. It’s always quick and short, without any depth. Then you’re told you’ve been hired. Most times, the interview is hosted on Signal App or Telegram, via text messages with just an acting HR.

No legitimate business or company would hire an employee without a thorough interview to ascertain if they indeed meet the criteria.

4 – Requests for a Fee

If after the interview and onboarding, you’re asked to pay an amount of money, then it’s a scam. This fee could either be labelled ‘Application fee’ or ‘Upgrade fee’. Whatever name it’s called, legit companies don’t collect money from employees.

What to Do If you fell for this Fake Job Offer

If you’ve already submitted your personal details and CV to the crooks behind this fake employment offer. You should do the following;

Enroll in identity theft monitoring services

Identity protection services like Experian or Aura monitor databases that collect different types of information. When you enroll with them, you’d receive an alert notifying you of suspicious activities like –

  • a change of address request
  • court or arrest records
  • orders for new utility, cable, or wireless services
  • an application for a payday loan, etc. for example, has a basic Identity Theft monitoring plan which is free. I advise that you sign up for it, if you can’t afford the premium plan which is $24.99 monthly.

Alert your Bank of the Fraudulent Transaction

If you fell for the equipment vendor plot and made the payment using your account, immediately notify your bank. Send screenshots of the conversations between you and the criminal, payment receipt, etc.

You should also request for a chargeback if it’s possible to recover your money.

Spread Awareness of the Ongoing Scam

It’s very important that you inform people of your experience with the crooks impersonating Conformal Medical. You could do this on Forums, or even Threads like Reddit. This would help prevent others from being victims of the scam.

You can also go a step further by reporting the scam to government authorities like –  FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center ( This would make them put up a notice warning the public of the scam.


Employment scammers are becoming smarter lately – they go as far as impersonating reputable companies, making job seekers think they’re the real deal. However, it’s all part of their scheme. Once they’ve established the trust, they’d proceed in their scam which could be disguised as ‘equipment fee’ ‘training fee’ ‘upgrade fee’ etc.

When you’re offered a job always remember the saying ‘If It’s too good to be true, it certainly isn’t true’.

When approached by a job recruiter either online or offline, the first thing to do is research the company and the job opportunity. Find the company on the internet and review their online presence, including their social media. Enter the company’s name and the word “scam” on search engine, paste the email address too to find out if it has been flagged as scam.

Meanwhile, while you’re here, check our previous employment scam alert – Impact Recruitment Scam

By Judith Davidson

I am Judith Davidson, a Cyber Security Professional. I am the founder, Investigator and Author of I started working as a Cyber Fraud Researcher in 2019 when I saw lots of people falling victims to fraudulent websites pretending to sell disinfectants, masks and wipes during the Covid19 pandemic. Since then, I've saved millions of people from online scams.

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