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  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, ,   

    Young people fall for this scam more than any other 

    By Greg Collier

    Millions of people have checking accounts with their bank. However, they are mostly a checking account in name only. Thanks to the rise of debit cards and online payments, many checking account holders have never written a check in their lives. Even places of employment insist on having employees’ paychecks sent through direct deposit. While many may see this as the natural progression of technological advancement, scammers see it as an opportunity to put one over on younger victims.

    Younger people with no experience in handling paper checks are falling victim to online job scams. Many of these fake jobs are work from home positions. Once a younger person has been ‘hired’, they’re sent a paper check, so they can buy supplies for their new job. The victims are told to deposit the check into their own bank account, and use a specific vendor to purchase their supplies.

    The checks are always stolen or fraudulent. Banks don’t find out the checks are bad until days after being deposited. By then, the victim has already paid the vendor, who is just another part of the scam. When the bank finally catches up with their records, it’s the victim who’s on the hook for the money lost by the bank. With so many young people struggling to make ends meet, this could be a devastating financial loss.

    If you know a young person who is just starting out in the workforce, or one who is between jobs, we ask that you pass on this information to them. No legitimate job will ever send you a check before any work is done. Neither will they ask you to deposit a check into your own bank account to pay for company supplies. Lastly, just because a deposited check appears in your account, that doesn’t mean it’s not a fake.

  • Geebo 8:04 am on November 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, product tester,   

    Amazon job scams plague social media 

    Amazon job scams plague social media

    By Greg Collier

    Trend Micro is a company that sells suites of security software to both corporations and individuals. This is neither an advertisement nor an endorsement of Trend Micro’s products. However, they recently posted on their blog about a job scam that’s circulating on social media that involves retail giant Amazon.

    According to Trend Micro, scammers are taking to social media posing as former Amazon employees. Much like the fake jewelry discount scam we recently profiled, the scammers are promising secret ways for people to make money with Amazon.

    The scammers’ posts claim anyone can make $1500 a month by becoming a product tester for Amazon. The reader is then directed to go to one of several phony websites. Once someone arrives at one of those websites, they’re taken to a survey where they’re told they can claim a gift after completing it.

    Typically, with scams like this, the scammers are after two things, your personal information and your payment information. We’ve seen survey scams like this before, but not one disguised as a job offer. At the end of the survey, the applicant is asked to enter their mailing info to get their free gift, but the applicant has to pay for the shipping. That’s when the scammers obtain someone’s payment information along with their name and address. Under the guise of a job offer, scammers could get a lot more information from victims as well, such as their Social Security number.

    The main problem with this scam is that testing products for Amazon is a legitimate program. However, real Amazon testers do not get paid. Under the Amazon Vine program, reviewers can receive free products to give their feedback about, but the program is invite-only.

    As with any online job posting, research the posting before applying. If you find a listing on social media that sounds too good to be true, go to the company’s website to see if such a job is actually being offered.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bank robbery, , , , , job scam,   

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks 

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks

    By Greg Collier

    Recently, the city of Omaha, Nebraska, experienced a bank robbery and an attempted bank robbery with similar M.O.s. In both instances, a woman handed a phone to the bank teller. The person on the phone threatened the bank tellers into giving money to the person who handed them the phone. Except, the people standing at the teller’s counter had no idea they were being used in a bank robbery. So, how did this happen? We could just say ‘Craigslist’ and leave it at that, but we’ll give our readers a more in-depth explanation.

    According to a local news report, the women who entered the banks had replied to a Craigslist ad looking for someone to help with a sick and elderly relative. Once the women responded to the ad, they were told they would be helping with, “light housework, grocery store runs, and helping with finances.” Don’t you think classifying ‘helping with finances’ as bank robbery is a bit much? Anyway, the women were told they needed to go to the bank to withdraw money for the relative’s medical bills. The women handed the phones to the tellers, thinking their employer was discussing a withdrawal.

    Only one of the women was ‘successful’ and thought nothing of it when the teller handed her the money. That woman was instructed to deposit the money at a Bitcoin ATM.

    To make matters worse, the supposed employer obtained the women’s bank information, promising he would pay them through direct deposit. The scammer did try to steal from one of the victim’s accounts, but was unsuccessful.

    At the time of this writing, no arrest has been made.

    While a scam like this is unlikely to happen to the average jobseeker, it does highlight a couple of red flags when looking for a job online. If your employer only communicates through text messages, instant messaging, or phone call, and won’t meet you personally, there’s an excellent chance they’re a scammer. Also, if the position requires you to make any kind of payment involving cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, there’s an even grater chance the job is a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: job scam, , , ,   

    Reshipping scam resurfaces 

    Reshipping scam resurfaces

    By Greg Collier

    When it comes to job scams, especially work from home scams, the reshipping scam is probably one of the most nefarious. This is a type of fraud where criminals purchase items with stolen credit card information and have them shipped to a person in another country or location.

    The reshipper then receives the package, removes the original shipping label and replaces it with a new one addressed to the final destination, which is usually another location where the scammers can collect the items or resell them for a profit.

    The scam works by exploiting the differences in the cost of goods and shipping fees between countries or regions, allowing scammers to purchase items at a lower price from one country and sell them for a higher price in another, using the stolen credit card information to cover the costs. The reshipper is usually unaware that they are participating in a criminal activity and may believe that they are providing a legitimate forwarding service.

    The Better Business Bureau recently issued a warning after receiving complaints from victims who were hired by scammers as a packaging inspector. The state of Wisconsin has been especially hit hard, as many of the scam’s victims have been found there.

    What makes the scam appear legitimate is the scammers have a phony payroll dashboard online where victims not only track their hours worked, but also provide their personal information for payment. The victims are never paid and when they inquire with their supposed employer about their payment, the scammers disappear, taking the victim’s personal information with them.

    What’s most problematic about this scam is this scam could actually land a victim in jail. If a scam victim willingly falsifies shipping documentation as directed by the scammers to bypass US customs, they may be subject to imprisonment.

    This scam is easy to avoid if you’re aware of one vital piece of information. Reshipping is not a real job. It’s exclusive to job scammers. These positions are often advertised online with such titles as ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator’, or ‘local hub inspector’. No matter what the job is called, it’s never legitimate.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: job scam, , , resume reformatting,   

    New job scams targets your resume 

    New job scams targets your resume

    By Greg Collier

    There are an untold number of scams that target those looking for employment. Just off the top of our heads, we can think of the fake check scam where scammers will give you a stolen check to buy supplies with and return the balance to them, but eventually, you’ll be the one losing money. Then there is the reshipping scam, which uses unwitting participants to send stolen goods to a third party to avoid prosecution. Some jobseekers have gone to jail for this scam. Then there are many scams that are just trying to steal your identity. Now, there is a scam that tries to take your money as soon as you post your resume online.

    As anyone who’s submitted their resume in the past 15 years knows, your resume is hardly ever reviewed by a human being. Most resumes are scanned by computer software that looks for certain keywords related to the position being applied for. This has led to some applicants thinking they can fool the software by putting keywords in white text on their resume. Now, scammers want you to pay them to ‘improve’ your resume.

    After you post your resume online, scammers will reach out while posing as prospective employers. You’ll be told y our resume looks good, but you’ll have a better chance of getting the job if you have your resume ‘reformatted’. The applicant will be directed to a website that offers a resume reformatting service. These so-called services can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

    When applying for a job, you should never have to pay money for anything, whether it’s a background check fee, a drug test, or resume reformatting. As long as your resume is clear and concise, there shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re unsure how to write a resume, some tips can be found here.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 14, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , ,   

    Scammers send fake check to police department 

    Scammers send fake check to police department

    By Greg Collier

    When we came across this story, not only did we find it amusing, but it also shows a key part of most scams.

    A police captain in Appleton, Wisconsin, received a strange piece of mail at his office. It was a priority envelope that contained a letter and a check. The letter offered its recipient a position as a mystery shopper. The mystery shopper or secret shopper scam is one that’s been around a long time. It even predates the internet but has adapted well to the online world.

    For those who may not know, many of the bigger chain stores employ mystery shoppers. These are store employees who go around to each store posing as a customer. Their job is to rate the store’s performance through things like appearance, customer service, and selection. However, the job isn’t as commonplace as the scammers would have you believe.

    In the mystery shopper scam, scammers send their victims a fake or stolen check. The victim is told to deposit the check in their bank account and use the funds to purchase store gift cards. Big box stores like Walmart and Target often have their names used in this scam. Once the victim buys the gift cards, they’re supposed to give the gift card numbers to the scammer, who tells the victim to keep some of the money from the check as payment.

    By the time the victim’s bank realizes the check is fake, the scammer has already made off with the gift cards, leaving the victim responsible for the amount of the fake check to their bank.

    So, did scammers intentionally try to recruit a police captain? Probably not. Scammers like to cast as wide a net as possible. The scammers most likely bought a bunch of mailing lists, and sent fake checks to as many people as possible. Most modern scams can be profitable to scammers if they only get a handful of victims to take the bait out of the thousands they try to fool.

    As far as this particular scam goes, real companies are not just going to send out checks to random people telling them they now have a job with them. And any job that asks you to deposit a check into your personal bank account to use for business purposes is a scammer.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , ,   

    The Digital Trap: How Technology leaves the Young Vulnerable to Scams 

    By Greg Collier

    When we discuss older Americans being susceptible to scams, it’s usually because of their unfamiliarity with some modern technology. However, being too familiar with tech can also make someone vulnerable to scams.

    For example, young people, who use payment apps like Cash App and Venmo regularly, could be convinced to use those apps to their own detriment.

    Recently, a college student from Louisiana fell victim to a phony check scam. She thought she was applying for a job as a nanny. The scammers sent the student checks for thousands of dollars, and told her to deposit them in her own bank account. She was then instructed to send out payments for things like appliances and cleaning supplies. These payments were sent out through the Zelle and Venmo apps.

    Afterward, the bank discovered that the checks were fraudulent, but the student had already sent out all the money. In these cases, the banks hold the account holder responsible for the lost money, even if it was lost through deceitful means.

    Statistically, younger people are just as vulnerable to scams as the elderly, if not more so. This is possibly because of their unfamiliarity with traditional banking transactions. This is not intended as a criticism of young people, but rather a reminder that not everything needs to be done digitally.

    As far as this scam goes, never deposit any checks intended for business into your personal account. Real employers will never ask you to do that. Anyone who asks you to deposit a check then asks you to make payments for them is just trying to scam you.

    Lastly, apps like Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App should only be used with friends and family. These apps make it too easy for scammers to cash out and disappear after taking your money. The companies behind the apps are typically helpless to do much after the transaction goes through, or so they say. So, if you do get scammed through these apps, a refund probably isn’t likely. Please keep in mind that while these apps may be popular in your social circles, most legitimate businesses do not accept payments through them.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , job scam, ,   

    Scams prey on desperate jobseekers 

    By Greg Collier

    Pundits and naysayers will try to tell you that nobody wants to work anymore. What many claim the real problem to be is that many employers won’t pay a living wage. So, some jobseekers could be forgiven for ignoring red flags when being offered a job with good wages from someone who turns out to be a scammer.

    A woman in Arizona recently lost $5000 to a scammer who promised her a $72,000 a year job. The scammers claimed to be from a legitimate company that is headquartered in Australia, but has positions in the US. This would be a work from home position, and she was hired after an audio-only online interview. Then a scam familiar to our readers began to take hold.

    The Arizona woman was sent a check for $5000 by her supposed employer. She was instructed to deposit the check into her banking account, keep $300 for herself, and use the remaining $4700 to buy office equipment for her position. So, she deposited the check and after the check showed up in her account, she bought $4700 worth of money orders and sent them to the so-called office equipment vendor.

    But, as this story always goes, the check sent to the victim turned out to be a fraudulent check. Banks will make the funds available after a deposit out of courtesy within a few days. However, it takes longer than that for the banks to determine a check is fake. This leaves scam victims in the lurch, with them usually having to pay the amount of the check back to the bank.

    No real employer will ever ask you to deposit a check into your banking account, then ask you to use the money to pay someone else. Most big businesses have fleets of accountants and accounts payable people to make payments like that.

    If you’re hired very quickly after an online interview or hired on the spot, there’s a good chance the offer isn’t legitimate. If they’re representing themselves as being from an actual company, go to their website to see if the position they’re offering actually exists.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Parking ticket scam and more 

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we’re starting off the New Year with a handful of new scams.


    Now, the police impersonation scam is nothing new. This is when scammers pose as law enforcement and threaten a victim with arrest if they don’t pay a made up fine. However, a new variation of that scam has turned up in an East Texas city.

    Residents of Navasota, Texas, have received emails that try to imitate the city’s Chief of Police. The emails are coming from a Gmail account, which should be a tip off the emails are part of a scam. The strange part of this scam is the emails are asking residents to become collection agents for the city.

    While the news report doesn’t go into great detail about the scam, we imagine that the typical police impersonation scammer is looking for money mules to do their dirty work. It seems the scammers are looking for unwitting participants in their scam to collect the phony fines from victims.

    Always be wary of unsolicited job offers. With any job offer, if an email comes from a Gmail address rather than a business address, there’s a pretty good chance the offer is a scam.


    In a small Indiana county, residents have been receiving phone calls telling victims they’ve won a prize from the Mega Millions lottery. Victims are being told they’ve won money and a truck from the nationwide lottery. It’s with the truck where the scam begins. Victims are being told they need to purchase a $500 gift card to pay the driver who is bringing the truck. Since the victim may think they’ve won a large sum of money, $500 isn’t much to pay to get a new truck. This is the advance fee scam. It is illegal to make a lottery winner pay for their prize outside of the initial ticket purchase and subsequent taxes. That’s not even taking into account that most lotteries do not give out trucks as prizes.

    According to the Mega Millions website, no representative of Mega Millions would ever call, text, or e-mail anyone about winning a prize.

    If someone is asking you to pay for a prize you supposedly won, the chances are there is no prize.


    Lastly, if you receive a parking ticket on your car, make sure it’s from the city before making any kind of payment. In Scottsdale, Arizona, residents there have been finding parking tickets on their cars. The ticket states that you can pay the fine by scanning the QR code on the ticket. After scanning the code, victims are taken to a payment website that no doubt puts the money in to the scammers’ pockets.

    According to Scottsdale police, the fake tickets do not contain what parking law has been supposedly broken. Nor do the tickets have any kind of citation number.

    This is becoming an issue around the country as these parking ticket scams have been popping up all over, including a recent arrest in Santa Cruz, California.

    If you receive a parking ticket with a QR code on it, call the city to verify whether the ticket is bogus or not.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , job scam, , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Job scam wants your Facebook login and more 

    Scam Round Up: Job scam wants your Facebook login and more

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re thinking of sending money to relatives as a gift this holiday season, you may want to reconsider writing a check. Once again, scammers are stealing mail from mailboxes in hopes of finding a handwritten check. In a process called check washing, scammers can soak the check in chemicals that will remove the ink from a handwritten check. The scammers will then write the check for any amount they please before cashing it.

    To better protect yourself from this scam, mail any checks you may be sending inside the post office itself. This goes a long way in preventing the mail from being stolen. There are also special pens you can purchase that are resistant to the check washing chemicals.


    The Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert warning taxpayers about a refund scam. According to the FTC, scammers have been sending out text messages claiming you’re eligible for a ‘tax rebate’or some other kind of payment from the IRS. As with most text messaging scams, the messages contain a link for the recipient to click on to get their supposed refund. Clicking on the link could have devastating consequences as it could either ask you for personal or financial information, leading to identity theft, or it could inject malware into your phone.

    Just keep in mind that the IRS is never going to initiate contact with a taxpayer through text messages. If there is any kind of issue concerning your federal taxes, you will receive a notice in the mail before anything else.


    A woman from Missouri was almost scammed out of her Facebook account while applying for a job online. A friend of a friend had posted a job ad on his Facebook page. While interviewing for the job, she was told that she was being interviewed by the company’s founder and CEO. All the interviews took place through messaging apps like Messenger and Google Chat. The phony CEO asked the woman for a copy of her driver’s license and Social Security card, which may not seem unusual. However, she was also asked for her Facebook login information. Thankfully, she realized this was a scam and cut off contact with the scammer.

    While there have been stories in the past about employers asking for employees’ Facebook logins, those are rare exceptions and not the norm. This seems like the scammers wanted her personal information to hijack her Facebook account and use it for additional scams. Having her personal information might allow them to claim that they are the actual owners of the Facebook account. The acquaintance’s account was more than likely hijacked by the scammers.

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