A college graduate thought she landed her dream job producing a television series. She even moved across the country for it. She showed up only to find out the job might have been fake.
"He said 'You need to relocate down in Phoenix, Arizona.' At that point I was just very excited," said Claudine Belony.
Full of enthusiasm, Belony packed up her things and moved from New York, having thought she had just been hired at 'Original Origin Productions LLC' to produce a brand new TV show called 'The Cult of Fiction.'
But she quickly learned the whole thing may have been a made-up story.
"I didn't expect it and I didn't have a plan B," said Belony.
Belony had been emailing a man named Joseph Solomon since May.
"I met him at Starbucks for a formal interview. He was tall, Caucasian gentleman," she said.
She even signed a contract and submitted a background check.
She never heard from him again.
"I finally emailed him, the email bounced back," she said.
The 'studio' was supposed to be at 40 N. Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Belony went to check it out, and showed up to an office space occupied by other companies.
"I said 'My name is Claudine, I'm supposed to work here.' And she's like, 'You're the second or third person that has been here this week," said Belony.
"They don't know who Joseph Solomon is. I showed them the contract. At that point I broke down crying."
The company 'Original Origin Productions' does not appear to have ever existed according to the Arizona Corporation Commission website.
We tried searching for this Joseph Solomon. Our email was returned, and the website for the TV show has been deleted.
Now in a strange city with no job, Belony worries to whom she gave her personal information.
"You have my social security number, you have my drivers license number," she said.
Belony plans to file a police report. She has already put a fraud alert on her credit.
She thinks there may be more victims like her.
"I trust no one. Do your homework. This should not happen to anyone," said Belony.
To avoid getting caught up in a job scam, you should always research the company you're looking to interview with. Searching Google and Yelp for reviews is a good place to start. Also check with the Arizona Corporation Commission to make sure they're licensed.
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