This is a bizarre and fascinating story that could perhaps only happen in a global lockdown time. Everyone was working remotely so it took some considerable time for people to realise that the agency was fake. The con eventually started to unravel when one of the employees tried to find out more about the company's physical office and found that it did not exist.
As mainstream, genuine businesses move to being wholly remote in the future, even checking for a physical office may not reveal the deception. It is interesting to note that there do not appear to be any trade mark applications or registrations for the word MAD BIRD in any jurisdiction in relation to relevant design agency services. This should have been a red flag for a supposedly marketing savvy design agency.
Perhaps this will become a standard check for people signing up to work in a remote only business?