56ºF

Avoiding job scams

If you're looking for work online, especially work from home opportunities, you need to be on the look out for and how to avoid being the next victim. It is really hard to find a legitimate work at home opportunity because those are the jobs that everyone wants. The jobs are out there, but so are the conmen.

When you see an ad for a work at home job with flexible hours and a good salary, it sounds like the perfect job. But criminals are using those come-on's to lure people into a reshipping scam. Michael Carroll is a U.S. Postal Inspector and he told us about one person who fell victim. "They had responded to an ad on a job site," Carroll said. "A website offering employment with a work at home job where they were supposed to be a shipping agent for a company."

This job seeker received merchandise and was instructed to re-package it and send it to various international addresses. "They will solicit assistance with people in the United States to have that merchandise shipped to them and in turn shipped out of the country," Carroll explained. Postal Inspectors say job seekers should be suspicious of any company with a business model that doesn't seem to make sense. "There is no legitimate reason why a company would need you to receive packages to turn around and ship those out of the country."

Goods usually include computers, cameras and other electronics often purchased with stolen credit cards. Carroll said, "They are trying to hide something, they are trying to disguise who they are and what they are purchasing."

Inspectors say before accepting any job online ask the following questions and some red flags may appear. "Get specifics on exactly what you are going to be required to do, what the job entails," Carroll said. "How you are going to be paid, when are you going to be paid."

If you believe you're a victim of one of these scams, you can file a complaint with postal inspectors.