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I would like share a scenario with everyone so that no one else suffers the same consequences. A few weeks ago I was approached by a virtual assistant, who goes by the name “Amber Martin”. Amber had disclosed that she found me on Active Rain. Amber (I say the name lightly) had disclosed she was located in Texas. Her email signature reflected the same. After reviewing her resume, I brought her on for a trial period until I received her background check and finished completing other formalities.
After a week into the trial period, Amber failed to send me certain information; claiming she had a family emergency in Washington State. When she returned, she still failed to provide the requested information. I was not able to obtain a background check as Amber apparently did not exist. Another one of my VA’s then contacted me to tell me that when on a call with Amber, she sounded like a man. At this point I decided to end her trial period.
When I contacted ‘Amber’ and brought the issues to ‘her’ attention, I found out that ‘she’ is actually a ‘he’ and ‘Amber’ is really ‘Andy’ who lives in the Philippines. Yes, we found that “Amber Martin, A.K.A. Andy” is actually Andy Cano! Trying my best to remain professional, I explained I did not appreciate being lied to and that I can no longer have her perform any further work.
A few days later I received an email from Amber demanding payment for the little work “HE” completed. Included in the email was also a threat that if payment wasn’t remitted in 24 hours, Amber would contact my clients and disclose “he” wasn’t paid as well as contact the companies my clients work with.
This person ANDY CANO cannot be trusted for he is a scammer and he has scammed me with Php 76,000 money… I have filed a complaint against this person with CIDG Philippines Cyber Crime Unit
Long story short, I found a connection between Amber Martin and a company called Cano BPO Services. Cano is registered in Australia under the name Amber Martin; however, the soliciting emails my agents have been receiving from Cano, reflect the company is based in the Philippines. I also tried to locate people whose name is Amber Martin and found an agent who used to live in Texas, but has since relocated. Amber had said that she was located in Highlands, Texas and also provided phone number that would matched that area code. Come to find out found out, the address was a recently ‘for sale by owner property’ and the phone number was an invalid Google number. I am not sure how she goes about selecting her address, but the bottom line is that it is not her residence.
If you have been contacted by an Amber Martin, Andy Cano, Cano BPO Services, Online BPO Services and/or Meschelle VA, I advise you to perform due diligence. Not only because she/he is actually overseas, but because she is committing fraud by providing a fake name, fake address, claiming to be a women when ‘he’ is clearly a man, soliciting my clients, etc.. I cannot be certain she is using the identity of an agent either, but that is how it appears.
I would also like to point out that since Amber had mentioned she found me on Active Rain, I brought her on board under the impression that the site was safe. This just goes to show that you can’t even trust the reputable sites of which you think are safe.
All info provided by Amber Martin, A.K.A. Andy Cano, was stolen – the name, the address, the phone number, and falsifying this info not just to me but also on LinkedIN, Active Rain, Paypal, Facebook, Trulia, Elance, etc. And the lineage that this was a thought-out scheme of lies, deceit & thievery. -Pam Maglione - Owner, CEO of Pam's VAS
This scenario has taught me a great lesson. I will now be performing pre-contracting formalities prior to having anyone perform work –even if it is only a trial period. If you have been a target of “Amber Martin”, please reach out to me and share your story. If you have dealt with a similar scenario, I would love to hear your story as well. These are things we shouldn’t feel ashamed about sharing. The problem with situations like these is that the perpetrator does not suffer any consequences for their actions. The only consequence someone like Amber could suffer, is losing their source of income. With that said, I think the more awareness we bring to these matters, the less chance there is of it happening to someone else, and the more difficult it makes for a fraud to get away with it.
♦ Upon further investigation, we found multiple profiles on multiple platforms linking to Amber Martin, A.K.A. Andy Cano. While some link Amber to Cano BPO Services, others link her to Online BPO Services as well as Meschelle VA. The email she contacted Pam’s VAS through was “Amber Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org]” I would also like to point out that each profile reflects a different location. Here are some of the sources:
LinkedIn: A. Meschelle
Virtual assistant/Owner at Meschelle VA
Houston, Texas AreaInternet
Active Rain: Amber Martin, I Help Real Estate Agents and Brokers on BPOs
Services for Real Estate Pros / Highlands, TX
Broker Price Assistance
LinkedIn: Andy Cano
Broker Price Opinion Analyst / RE Assistant
Region X – Northern Mindanao, PhilippinesReal Estate
Active Rain: Andy Cano, Real Estate Assistant
Services for Real Estate Pros / Auburn, WA
Online BPO Services