Scam it! Writing/Editing Job Posting Scam

A message from Pink Unicorn Publishing: WARNING. Recently con artists offering to pay people to take a survey have used our company name illegally. This is in no way connected with us. It is a scam. We have reported it to law enforcement.

Listen up, scammers, mess with me again and I'll poop rainbow happiness all over your sorry ass.

This weekend I almost fell victim to an Internet scam. This scam was posted under writing/editing jobs on Craigslist: Opinionate Ideology of Financial Struggles For $525 + $75 Bonus (Schurz). It masquerades as a legitimate freelance writing opportunity, and seems to be an attempt to trick you into paying money to have survey results delivered via mobile device. It says it’s a writing job offered through Pink Unicorn Publishing. But as it turns out, Pink Unicorn Publishing is in no way involved.

I was lured in by the offer of up to $600 in payment and publication in high profile national magazines just by answering a few survey questions. That should have been my first clue. If only it were that easy! But I responded to the post, and then received this email:

from: Jessica Hays
date: Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 3:46 AM
subject Re: Opinionate Ideology of Financial Struggles For $525 + $75 Bonus (Schurz)

My name is Jessica and I’m the director for the 2011 August ASPT (Annual Summer Publishing Take) as part of Pink Unicorn Publishing. Our topic of interest this year surrounds the enduring struggles of immigrants against the declining & destabilizing US Economy. To clarify and maintain fair, the country’s economy has improved over the course of the last 4 years; its rise, however, is impeded by the emergence of greater labor restrictions–providing for fewer skilled occupational opportunities. Many actuarial analysts believe that the lack of proper financial opportunities given to deserving immigrants is indirect, yet expansively impactful in the way it affects the economy. And this is where our debate of interest lies.

We’d like to extend an invitation to you to join this brief program (for 9 people). You will receive $575 compensation for completing 14 questions and providing a 50 word response to the quoted questions listed at the bottom. Your responses will also be published in 4 magazines (U.S. Financial, Inquirer, Barron’s, The Economist); unless you specify otherwise.

In order to qualify for this study, we require an Intelligence Quotient test (IQ Test), via which we determine whether you are fit to participate in our publication (nearly 80 of first come, first serve participants get accepted). To complete the IQ test, please follow these steps:

1. Go to and read through the page for information about why IQ tests are used for job entrance (you may skim this page if you like)

2. Scroll to the bottom and click either of the two images, which takes you to the Official IQ test page.

3. Complete the 10 questions and obtain your score via mobile confirmation.

4. E-mail your name and score to Maria Cruz at

5. Maria will verify your score and if it is above 102 (average), she will e-mail you a confirmation page where you accept to join our study. Instructions will be dispatched then.

50 Word Question:
For Non-American Citizens
“What enduring financial struggles have gone through over the last 2 years? How can we fix it?”

For American-Citizens:
“What enduring financial struggles have you seen other immigrants face over the last 2 years? How can we fix it?”

Jessica Hays
**PUP’s main office based in NY, however, our services are targeted to several locations.**

4302, 96 East St.
3rd Floor Suite 3-201
New York, NY 12011


I thought this was a little convoluted, but I still clicked on the link to the IQ Test, which took me to the basically the exact opposite of an IQ Test: A survey about “Jersey Shore” with photographs of the leathery skinned cast members and a disclaimer that you have to pay a fee to get your results delivered via mobile device.

An IQ test on Jersey Shore? Give me a lobotomy and 20 shots of jager, then we'll talk.

I have never watched “Jersey Shore,” (a proud truth which I believe proves I automatically pass the IQ test). I thought there must be a mistake so I responded to Ms. Jessica Hays’ email, to which I soon received a “Mail Delivery Subsystem” response. Awesome!

That’s when I visited the Pink Unicorn Publishing website, and found their announcement that they were in no way involved.

I noticed today that the “Jersey Shore” survey is no longer accessible via the link provided. But writers beware: This or anything similar is not a real job posting. You will not get $600. And if you do take the survey, it may actually lower your IQ.


4 thoughts on “Scam it! Writing/Editing Job Posting Scam

  1. BTW, I took that Jersey Shore quiz. Got ’em all correct…wait what’s happenin’? My freakin’ skin’s turning orange…speaking with a Joisey accent. How did this chain and medallion get on my neck????AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! WTF????????!!!!!!!!

  2. This reminds me of a scam that I was solicited this summer. It was a publishing company wanting to publish my master’s thesis. Not sure what exactly they were after, but I did some research and found that it was indeed a scam. It feels so violating to be solicited like this! I’m sure glad you didn’t get caught up in it.

  3. Well, you’ll have to admit, the letter was written quite well with proper English and correct spellings, unlike most scam letters! I am pretty savvy about these scams but I might have bitten on this one too. But Jersey Shore? Give me a break! What were they thinking? (I, too, have never watched Jersey Shore. I know this is a small club, but I am proud to be a member.)

    • Yeah, someone put a lot of effort into making it seem legitimate. That is until I got an eyeful of Snooki. So random. Oh, and welcome to the exclusive “club”! 🙂

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