I was contacted on December 1, 2011 by Robert Morrell and I went through the same drill that Hewitt (from New Jersey ) mentioned in his report. I was told the exact same things, and I went through the exact same assignments too.
These guys have designed a professional looking website where they have parked all the information and FAQs about the work arrangement. Anyone can fall for it, its so real. After my first assignment I got a call from their office, This was a lady called Zoey or Joey.. She introduced herself as my manager and asked me if I had any questions regarding the arrangement etc. Until this call, I was interacting with Robert Morrell, I asked her if I need to be in touch with her, she said I can continue to work with Robert Morrell only. This was my first red flag.
I was also given access to their member website. This website is supposedly used by all the regular employees, for time tracking, downloading assignments and interacting with clients and other members. Since I am still on my trial period I had limited access to this site, I could visit the FAQ section and Members section. All other sections were barred for me. In the members section I saw tonnes and tonnes of profiles.. I could not see them all because they were soooo many.. from across USA and other countries.. During my view I observed that two profiles of different persons had the same display picture.. Red Flag No. 2 and most of the girls in the members area had pictures which could qualify for escort services.. this was Red Flag No. 3. but i dint take any action and told myself to be extremely cautious.
My 2nd assignment was to interact with an artist in Russia to ask him to remake a painting for this unknown client. The exact same situation that Hewitt discribed in his report. The client damaged the painting and now wants it remade to gift it to his european partner. I was skeptical about this assignment but still went ahead and sent an email to the artist.. and got a long reply next day oulining all about how soon can it be done and his payment terms. He wanted to be paid by Western Union.
I passed on all this information to Robert Morrell and he sent that out to the client. I get a mail this morning from Robert Morrell that the client tried to transfer money yesterday to the artist and was not able to do that so now he wants his virtual assistant (me) to do this and the client would pay me USD 300 as bonus for this task. I have to provide Robert Morrell my bank details, he would send it to the client and the client would transfer USD 9650.00 ($7000 for the painting, $1800 for shipping, $400 for money transfer fees and $ 300 my bonus) into my account. (If you add all the amounts, it comes to 9500 client would be paying me $150 more, god know for what!).
So I read this long email from Robert Morrell and I say to myself this is it! This is a very serious and big plot to rip off people. I write back an email to Robert Morrell denying to share my bank details with him for any such reasons. Obviously I am never going to hear back from him
This is very dangerous, Many people like me look up for rip-off stories after the damage is done. I hope these stories get noticed by the public and law-makers and some action is taken immediately to stop this nonsense. In the world of Internet its very hard to know what is fact and what is fraud. Until anything is done about 1st-team, inc my advise to people is to stay cautious all the time, and not reveal too much information too soon..