Hundreds of Yakama Nation tribal members turned over their personal information this week to an individual with a pattern of promising jobs that never pan out.
The Yakama Nation issued a warning today after individuals visited the tribe’s headquarters on Tuesday to recruit tribal offers for supposedly lucrative jobs cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The recruiters promised bus transportation to Louisiana and Florida, lodging and wages of $40 per hour. Many tribal members eagerly offered up their personal information and some even quit their jobs.
Authorities haven’t been able to identify whether the oil jobs are legitimately tied to British Petroleum (BP) – but it’s unlikely.
The person behind the recruitment scheme was identified as Christino Rosado (possibly spelled Rosazo), and claims to be associated with companies named Seasonal Fruit, Go Fish and Tri-Tech Corporation. The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana spoke with Christino Rosado, Jr., who reportedly stated that he and his father, Christino Rosado, Sr., are behind the endeavor but was unable to produce proof of a contract with BP.
The younger Rosado showed up in Oregon City in May, promising to turn an empty beer warehouse into a fruit-juice factory and employ hundreds. But locals said the story turned out to be “too good to be true.” According to this news June 12 Oregonian article, Rosado planned to pay $3.7 million for the building plus another $2.8 million for renovations. He pulled in contractors, city officials and a real estate agent to help, but the money never materialized.
Yakama Nation Chairman Harry Smiskin cautioned tribal members not give personal information in connection with a job offer from anyone claiming to have a relationship with BP without first identifying the requester’s credentials.
“Second, the Yakama Nation does not believe there are legitimate oil cleanup jobs waiting for our people,” Smiskin said. “There are too many red flags without any real answers for our people to trust this situation.”
The Washington Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana are helping disseminate information about this scheme. We encourage anyone who provided personal information to the recruiters to take the following precautions:
- Check bank and credit statements for unauthorized charges.
- Consider placing a free fraud alert on your credit history, which can alert you to attempts to open new accounts. Call the toll-free number at any of the three major bureaus:
o Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
o Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
o TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800
- For stronger protection, consider placing a security freeze on your credit files, which may prevent identity theft by preventing the credit bureaus from sharing your information with potential creditors.
- Review your credit history. When you request a fraud alert, you may also request a free copy of your credit file. Review it for accuracy.
Also, if you're thinking of a job in the Gulf, take precautions to check out the company in advance. And don't give out personal or sensitive information, such as a Social Security number, until you've had a chance to read and sign an official employment contract.