Beware of work-at-home scams

Victims can be breaking the law without knowing it


The flexibility of working from home is very appealing for many people trying to make ends meet. However, proceed with caution because most of these jobs found online are nothing more than a scam.

In one particular case, almost $750,000 worth of fake money orders (pictured above) were mailed to hundreds of people across the country.

"I knew someone had been mailing hundreds of pieces over a year. On a certain Saturday 150 went out from six different post offices about 25 at each one," said Bob Schmidt, US Postal Inspector.

Once Postal Inspectors confirmed "who" was sending all of these packages they confronted the woman.

"She couldn't believe it at first, she wanted to help right away, offered email phone numbers whatever I wanted to help catch the guy," explained Schmidt.

She said the checks and instructions on what to do came from West Africa.

"These people are usually victims themselves they've gone online to look for a job to do from home - they get contacted by the scammers," said Schmidt.

She didn't realize the checks were bad or that she was doing anything wrong. the con-artists promised her up to $200 an hour. Inspectors say be weary of these promises.

"No company is going to pay that much money to have somebody stuff envelopes and ship them out. Be weary of anything online really. They can really disguise themselves they could say they are whomever they want to be," warned Schmidt.

Also beware of mystery shopper scams.  In this scheme, the goal is to get the victims to deposit the checks, buy something small while shopping and return the remains of the check to the company before the bank realizes the checks are counterfeit.