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To our readers:

Please be aware that a scam has been perpetrated against Johns Hopkins Magazine in the form of a bogus classified advertisement. The ad, which appears on page 65 of the print version of our Spring 2010 issue, promotes “a career in shopping and dining out” and gives an email address for further information. The ruse works by enlisting unwitting applicants to participate in a phony assignment for a legitimate consulting firm; in truth, the actual firm has disavowed any connection to the scheme. As part of the assignment (more commonly known as a solicitation for a “mystery or secret shopper,” see details on snopes.com) applicants are asked to deposit cashier’s checks or money orders sent by the perpetrator into their own account, then withdraw against the deposited amount and send it back to the perpetrator. The victims discover they’ve been swindled when their accounts turn up overdrawn or minus the funds they were asked to deposit.

The scam was brought to our attention after a reader attempted to answer the ad in Johns Hopkins Magazine.

Please do not respond to this ad under any circumstances.

Sincerely,
Catherine Pierre
Editor, Johns Hopkins Magazine