Clinton Township woman says email cost her new job

Woman says email turning down job offer sent by someone else, not her, files police report

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Suzanne Thomas knows what it is like to lose something she really wanted.

"I was a victim of identity theft in a manner that actually never been heard of by most people I've spoken with," said Thomas.

The Clinton Township mom said she was offered a job as an administrative assistant for a company last year.  She said she accepted the offer and resigned from her current employer.

"This was an amazing opportunity on every level, so honestly, getting the news that I did the following week was absolutely devastating," said Thomas.

Thomas said the news was that she had sent an email to her new employer saying that she was no longer interested in the job offer.

"I had immediately stated this is not me, I'm 100 percent on board with this job," said Thomas.

Thomas said she told the recruiting company that she was not the one who sent the email turning down the job offer, but the new company accepted the email as her turning down the job and rescinded the offer.

"The first thing I thought was 'Why in God's name after I had just accepted this offer enthusiastically, I mean, beyond enthusiastically, would i turn right back around in 27 hours and decline this offer," said Thomas.  "The second thing I thought was even if this were the case, I would never decline it in the manner that this person did it because they did it through a public website."

Thomas said the email with her name on it was sent through the new company's "contact us" page on its website.   She filed a police report with the Clinton Township Police Department because she said she didn't send the email, someone else must have sent it.  She suspects she knows who did it.

"This person put me in a situation where I was left completely empty handed in the end," Thomas said.

Investigators closed the case without charging anyone. Clinton Township Police said the IP address from the computer that sent the email was not captured, so there is no way to know who sent the email.

Police also said what happened to Thomas doesn't fall into the identity theft statute they follow to press charges.

"I've literally fallen into a gray area because this person did not open a credit card in my name, they didn't hack specifically into email accounts and because this is a one time occurrence they're not stalking me," said Thomas.

Local 4 took Thomas' situation to Dave Flynn, president of Orion Solutions Group, a Troy-based consulting and executive search firm.

"She did nothing wrong, she unfortunately is the victim of bad circumstances," said Flynn. "It may be a situation that someone was jealous or not happy with her getting this position and was petty and decided to be unkind."

Flynn advises people keep quiet during a job search.

"Don't publicize that you're in the process.  I've seen a lot of times where people will start putting things on Facebook, 'I'm looking for a job,' 'I've applied for a new job,' 'I'm interviewing tomorrow.' That's unwise because if anything goes wrong you've publicized that you were looking and it could jeopardize your current situation," Flynn said.

Thomas agrees.

"The lesson it's taught me is not to speak to anybody about anything in terms of, you know, a life change of this manner.  I will never ever speak about it again until it's something completely concrete," Thomas said.

Thomas understands why the new employer accepted the email.   Since then, she has a new job, but said it is a lower paying job than what she could have had in the first offer.

Flynn recommends when dealing with a potential employer or a recruiting agency to always let them know that if anything of substance transpires you will talk to them directly and not just send an email because those can be misinterpreted.

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