I suspect someone is trying to scam me, but it's weird.

I just responded to the recruiter/contractor as follows:

Well see how he responds.

Perhaps tell him that you’re not able to pay for that computer equipment in advance. That’s actually perfectly reasonable. Many people I know would not have the spare credit card limit to allow that large of a purchase.

That’s exactly what I did.

Yeah, visit them in person. I have known few scammers who were comfortable meeting the scammee in person.

Well, I hope you’ll come back and tell us how this ends.

As mentioned I’ve visited the employer twice.

Several people here have suggested that they may be scamming multiple people at once. I don’t see how that could work wIth one office without the victims running into each other. It’s a small office.

They’re not going to have 10 or 20 people show up Tuesday morning at a small office carrying Macs.

Having them come in on different days is also a problem.

They’d have to have each person bring in the equipment on separate days, then fire them so they don’t come back. If they did that to me I’d leave with the equipment I’d paid for!

I agree…this seems too complicated to be a scam. I vote for Disorganized Office With Cash Flow Issues.

Have you followed up with the contracting agency about what this employer is asking of you?

It’s the contracting agency that’s asking me to do this, supposedly at the request of the employer.

Can you ask the employer directly? I haven’t worked as a contractor so I don’t know the etiquette and protocol.

Ask him what specifically?

Have you checked them out online(disregarding their own website, of course)?

Yes, of course. The contracting firm and the employer both seem to have a web presence beyond just their websites, as do both the individual working for the contracting firm and the manager of the employing company. (Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoominfo, etc.).

It does strike me as a bit odd that the domains for both companies are registered anonymously, but that seems to be becoming a common practice, probably to prevent robotic harvesting of info. Both domains are at least several years old.

But I’m not seeing how just showing up with computer equipment makes it the company’s stuff. If they want you to sign something stating that fact, just say you will sign it over after you are reimbursed.

davidm, I’m also in the Philly area and my company does a lot of contracting in the Tech industry if you’re up to PM’ing (or posting outright) the names of the contracting firm and/or company, happy to pass on if I’ve ever heard of either.

Obviously they murder you in the back room, sell your organs and the Mac is just a bonus.

Sure, but many people would be unwilling to rock the boat with a new employer especially after they’ve come this far. And they’ll have excuses like needing it there overnight so their IT guy can install their software, yadda yadda. You don’t want to look like a problem on Day One so you acquiesce.

Edit: I’ve no idea if this specific example is a scam or just a poorly managed company but many scams are all about getting your foot in the door.

I didn’t think IRA regs allowed you or them to just choose.

Yes, a lot of company’s sites go through a domain proxy anymore. Still, they’d at least have to have a Registered Agent on file w/ your state’s Secretary of State to be a licensed business there.

So I take it there are positive reviews of their services that can be checked up on from websites the companies cannot meddle with? If so, can you contact current/former employees on your own to see if they have any similar experiences?