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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , work at home   

    Major surge seen in this job scam 

    Major surge seen in this job scam

    By Greg Collier

    Between the unpredictability of the pandemic and the ‘Great Resignation’ movement, more people are seeking work from home opportunities. But even before the pandemic, work from home positions were not only few and far between, but many of them were straight up scams. Even going back decades, there were positions advertised for envelope stuffers where the applicants had to pay an upfront fee to start working. Then they would barely get paid, if they were even paid at all. Work from home scams have barely changed since then, except that the scammers now have a larger reach through the internet and social media.

    The Better Business Bureau has stated that the reshipping or repackaging scam represents 65% of all work from home scams. In the reshipping scam, you’re asked to inspect goods that are sent to your home before putting the goods in new packaging and sending them to a third party, usually overseas. The goods themselves are typically purchased with stolen credit card information. The whole scam is frequently part of a money laundering operation. Even victims of the scam can find themselves in legal trouble if they did anything to try to skirt US Custom laws, even if they were instructed by the scammers to do so.

    This scam is so lucrative that the scammers will even use paid employment platforms like Indeed. These same scammers will often claim they represent major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, or they’re contracted with them. Anytime that you see a position on a platform like Indeed that seems too good to be true, check the employer’s website to see if that’s a legitimate employment opportunity.

    While a work from home position is one that many consider ideal, they are also rife with scams that you should be aware of.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , work at home   

    Scam victim gets bullets in the mail 

    Scam victim gets bullets in the mail

    By Greg Collier

    From its name, the average person would assume that the reshipping scam isn’t that dangerous, but it’s actually one of the more risky scams. In the reshipping scam, victims looking to work from home are offered a job that usually has a title like ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator, or ‘local hub inspector’. The victim is asked to ‘inspect’ packages that are sent to their home before repackaging the items and sending them to a third party. The items themselves are often purchased with a stolen credit card, but since they were delivered to a victim’s home, that’s where investigators may start looking for whoever stole the credit card to begin with.

    One woman from Kentucky fell for this scam, but something she received made her realize something wasn’t right. She applied for the position of a quality inspector on a well-known job board, as scammers will often advertise these phony positions so they appear legitimate. The woman was shipping packages from her home with her home address as the return address. She didn’t think anything of it until she received a box of ammunition at her home and was asked to ship it somewhere else. It’s illegal to ship ammunition through the US Postal Service, and shipping services like UPS and FedEx require a number of precautions before shipping ammunition. It is also illegal to ship ammunition from the United States to another country. Reshipping scammers often have their victims send the items to other countries.

    What’s really scary about the reshipping scam is that even victims can be arrested. If the victim in this instance had reshipped the ammunition, and it was stopped by customs or postal inspectors, she would have almost definitely been arrested. However, that’s not the part that gets some reshipping scam victims arrested. If a victim knowingly falsifies shipping documents under the instruction of the scammers to get around US customs, they could potentially face a prison sentence.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , military family, , work at home   

    Military families are often targets of scammers 

    Military families are often targets of scammers

    By Greg Collier

    When we think of scamming victims, we often think of the elderly without a lot of online knowledge or maybe young people with not a lot of real-world experience. Who we may not think of is the immediate family of military members, specifically their spouses. While our men and women of the armed forces are being deployed, it’s up to their spouses to keep everything running as smoothly as possible on the home front. This is made even more difficult if the family has any children. Because a military spouse may be spending a lot of time at home without their partner, it could leave them vulnerable to various scammers.

    For example, the wife of a deployed soldier in Alaska recently found herself the victim of a work at home scam. She was looking to earn extra income for the family and looked online for a position that would allow her to stay home with her children. She found a position in a local Facebook group that ticked all the right boxes. It was an online work from home job that started at $15/hr where you could set your own hours and work would be available for 45 hours a week. After training, the salary would be increased to $20/hr.

    The victim was then sent a check, so she could order supplies. She was given a list of supplies to order and where to order them from. She was told to deposit the check in her own account and when she voiced her concerns about that she was told that this was standard practice.

    The check turned out to be fraudulent after she had spent the money. The family’s bank account was then locked, and now the family finds themselves in $15,000 debt to the bank.

    Please keep in mind that no legitimate employer will ever ask you to deposit company funds into your own bank account. Real employers have accounting and purchasing departments to handle such transactions. If an online employer asks you to deposit a check for business purposes, it’s almost guaranteed that the check is fake.

    This is only one of many scams that military families are vulnerable to. A good rule of thumb not just for military families but for all of us is not to send or receive money from anyone you don’t know.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on March 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , work at home   

    Disadvantaged state taken advantage of by scam 

    Disadvantaged state taken advantage of by scam

    By Greg Collier

    West Virginia is a state that’s been dealing with an unemployment problem since long before the pandemic. Some of its residents could be forgiven for falling prey to a scam that promises not only easy money but a work from home position as well. When someone is desperate enough for a paycheck, they’re more likely to overlook red flags that they may otherwise notice.

    The Better Business Bureau of West Virginia has received several complaints about a company that was allegedly hiring people for a work from home reshipping position. Applicants received items in the mail and were told to take pictures if the items before shipping them off to another address. The employees were told to log into the company’s dashboard to print off the new shipping labels. People received and reshipped things from antique coins to fully assembled computers.

    After about a month went by the employees were locked out of the dashboard and the company cut off all communication with them. None of the people who complained to the BBB were ever paid.

    We’re confident that many of you have already figured out that these people have unfortunately been the victims of the reshipping or repackaging scam. These positions are often advertised online with such titles as ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator, or ‘local hub inspector’. The goods that are reshipped are usually bought with stolen credit card information while the scam victims are used as middlemen to ship the goods to third-parties overseas. This is done in an attempt to obfuscate the package’s real destination.

    These victims are little luckier than most. In many cases, the scammers will pay their victims in fraudulent checks which end up costing the victim money. The only thing stolen from these victims so far has been their time. However, there is also a potential for identity theft as the victims also filled out tax forms to the phony employer.

    The reshipping scam is especially dangerous to the victim because it could cause them trouble with the law. Even if you’re a victim of the scam, but you knowingly addressed a package to avoid customs inspections you could find yourself in hot water.

    As with any employment position, it’s worth researching your potential employer as this one used the address of a vacant warehouse in West Virginia.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , work at home   

    Florida man falls victim to reshipping scam 

    Florida man falls victim to reshipping scam

    We’ve discussed the repackaging or reshipping scam previously. Traditionally, scammers will advertise this scam as a work from home position where your job is to inspect packages you receive from the scammers. Then you’d be instructed to send the contents of the packages to a third party. The third party is usually someone overseas. These positions are often advertised online with such titles as ‘shipping coordinator’, ‘warehouse distribution coordinator, or ‘local hub inspector’. More recently, a man from Florida was taken in by these scammers.

    The man had been out of work for months due to the pandemic. He spent months sending out resumes and applications to various employers. He received a job offer from a company for the position of ‘quality control inspector’. The man was asked to inspect 18 packages before sending them overseas. The victim started to become suspicious after he had not been paid for 30 days. He then received a letter from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service warning him that he may be the victim of a reshipping scam.

    This man is actually kind of lucky after being caught up in this scam. In most cases, scammers will pay their victims using phony checks. He could have potentially lost thousands of dollars to the scammers. However, this man is not out of the woods yet. He did send the scammers his personal and financial information for what he believed to be for direct deposit. He could potentially be open to identity theft if it hasn’t happened already.

    The most dangerous part of the reshipping scam is that victims could possibly find themselves in jail. Even if you’re a victim in this scam, if you knowingly falsify shipping documents under the instruction of the scammers to get around US customs, you could face some jail time.

    If you think you may be a victim in a reshipping scam, there are steps you can take. If you’ve already received items don’t mail them. Instead, contact the USPS Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , work at home   

    COVID creating more scams for more money 

    COVID creating more scams for more money

    According to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, not only have scams increased during the pandemic but victims are losing more money than ever. Just last month, the Attorney General’s Office said that scam victims lost as much as 8000 times more than they did the year before. The rise in scams is being contributed to the fact that more people are at home and online during the pandemic. That can also lead to more victims posting about themselves on social media which gives scammers more information to use against you.

    The Attorney General’s Office says the three most common scams that have been happening during the pandemic are grandparent scams, work from home scams, and romance scams. Kentucky recently prosecuted a man who scammed a woman for over $200,000 in a romance scam. The scammer posed as a man in the military while asking his victims for money under the guise of a romantic relationship.

    We often see people acting incredulously saying things like “Who would ever fall for a scam like this.” Unfortunately, victims falling for scams happen more often than you might think with only a fraction of the victims ever coming forward. As we have said before, people from all economic and educational backgrounds have fallen for scammers in one way or another.

    When it comes to your money, always take the time to verify what someone online is telling you. Whether it’s for a job, a relative in jail, or a romantic interest, it never hurts to check everyone’s story. At the worst, it may result in some hurt feelings but at least you’ll still have your money in these tough economic times.

    If you find yourself having become a victim of one of these scammers, please think about coming forward to the authorities. While it may seem embarrassing at first, if more people come forward it will lessen the chance that someone else will become a victim in the future.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , work at home   

    BBB: Job seekers at risk now more than ever 

    BBB: Job seekers at risk now more than ever

    The Better Business Bureau recently released the results of a survey that does not bode well for people currently looking for work. According to the BBB, people are now more at risk of falling for various employment scams, especially for those looking to work from home. These scams have various goals. They can be looking just to steal your personal information or getting you to deposit and then spend a fraudulent check.

    The scammers try to appear like a legitimate business as much as possible. They’ll often try to make it look like they’re hiring for a legitimate retailer like Walmart or Amazon. They will also hold online interviews over Zoom or Skype and have official-looking emails.

    People who have fallen for these scams have reported losing on average $1400. One report even indicates that military families and veterans are hit particularly hard by these scams.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t ways to protect yourselves from these scams. If they ask you to deposit a check they sent you for supplies and tell you to purchase the supplies from a specific vendor, that’s more than likely a scam. You should not deposit the check because it’s probably a fake and you could be responsible for that money to your bank.

    Beware of positions like ‘warehouse redistribution coordinator’ or anything similar. These positions could have you sending stolen goods through the mail which could get you in trouble with the law.

    Also, if a job asks you to buy or distribute gift cards, that’s almost guaranteed to be a scam. Due to the virtual anonymity of gift cards, they’ve become the preferred form of money laundering for scammers.

    Even when looking for a job if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

    While there are legitimate work from home positions available, that sector of the job market is a large target for scammers.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , work at home   

    Increase in scam that could land victims in jail 

    Increase in scam that could land victims in jail

    Just like every other scam, the reshipping or repackaging scam has seen an increase since the start of the current pandemic. In the reshipping scam, scammers post online ads for a work at home job. The phony job entails receiving packages in the mail that the scammer will say you need to inspect for damages before shipping them to a third party. The items usually have been purchased with a stolen credit card. This way it becomes harder to track the stolen item. Police in Boise, Idaho recently recovered $7,000 worth of stolen goods from the home of someone who had been scammed into reshipping them.

    The biggest hazard with the reshipping scam is the fact that even if you’ve been conned into reshipping, you can still be held criminally liable depending on what you were asked to do by the scammers. For example, if you were instructed to lie on US Customs Service forms for packages leaving the country, you could be charged with fraud.

    Another drawback of this scam outside of receiving stolen merchandise is that you could be paid with fraudulent checks or money orders. Once again, if you deposit these into your bank account and then spend the money for whatever reason, you’ll be responsible to the bank for the check’s amount once they discover it’s fraudulent.

    And since the reshipping scam usually stems from phony job ads, your identity could be compromised as well if you provided personal information to the scammers. Could you imagine if all three of these things happened to you at once? That could cost you untold amounts of money just for being an unwitting participant in the scam.

    If you think you may be a victim in a reshipping scam there are steps you can take. If you’ve already received items don’t mail them. Instead, contact the USPS Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , work at home   

    Work at home scams continue to rise 

    Work at home scams continue to rise

    According to the Better Business Bureau, work at home scams were on a sharp rise even before the COVID-19 crisis started. Now, with so many people having been laid off or furloughed these scams have become even more prevalent over the past couple of months. These scams start off with tempting online ads promising decent money for relatively easy work without having to leave your home and risk infection. However, you could be risking something that’s almost as devastating.

    For example, a woman in Minnesota recently responded to an online ad for a data entry position. The ad promised to pay $15 an hour and promised at least a 40-hour workweek while maintaining a flexible schedule. After she responded to the ad she was instructed to download WhatsApp so an interview could be conducted. WhatsApp is a messaging app that’s popular overseas and often used in place of text messaging. Essentially, she was being interviewed for this job over text message. This is usually done so scammers can avoid sounding like they’re calling from another country.

    The scammers had said that they were going to pay for her to buy a new laptop for the job. They claimed they were going to send her a check to buy the equipment from an approved vendor. However, they told her that she only had 24 hours after receiving the check to purchase the equipment. If she had received the check it would have been a counterfeit check that she would have been responsible for if she had deposited it into her bank account. The 24-hour turnaround is a way for the scammers to get the money moved quickly before her bank could realize it was fraudulent.

    It wasn’t too long before the scammers started asking her for personal information like a copy of her driver’s license and who her cell phone carrier was. They then sent her a form that asked for her banking information along with security passwords. Thankfully, she realized this was a scam before her identity could be compromised.

    While there are legitimate work at home positions to be found, they are not as common as online ads may have you believe. If the offer sounds too good or it feels a little off, listen to your gut and avoid giving out any information to the scammers.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 17, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , work at home   

    Tech support scams could be on the rise 

    Tech support scams could be on the rise

    Yesterday, when we discussed phishing scams that could affect people working at home for the first time, we were remiss not to mention another scam that could be targeting new remote workers. The scam we’re referring to now is the tech support scam. This scam has been a known nuisance to home computer users for years now. This scam has also ended up costing its victims thousands of dollars apiece.

    The tech support scam usually works in one of two ways. The first and most ubiquitous way is when the victim sees a pop-up on their device that tells them their device has been infected with some kind of virus or malware. The pop-up then instructs the victim to call a number that claims to be some form of official tech support for that device. Other tech support scammers will just cold call people posing as a company like Microsoft or Apple telling their victims that they have a computer virus.

    In some cases, the tech support scammers will ask for remote access to your computer. With that access, they can do a number of malicious things. For example, a man in New York State was locked out of his computer by the scammers and was told to overnight cash while thinking he was paying to have his computer repaired remotely. In other cases, the scammers could inject malware into your system that logs your usernames and passwords. And in even more cases, scammers will just rummage through your computer looking for any information that they could find valuable.

    As far as the pop-ups go that say you have a virus, you should always ignore them and close the window where they appear. You should only be concerned by warnings that are given to you by whatever antivirus protection you already have installed on your device. As far as phone calls go, companies like Microsoft, Apple or Google will never call you to notify you that you have a virus. While these companies do have a global reach, they’re not monitoring your computer for viruses. If you receive one of these phone calls, just hang up. Don’t even engage with these scammers as your number could be shared with other scammers if they know someone will answer.

    Anytime some stranger is asking you online for money to fix your ‘virus’ problem, it’s more than likely a scam.

     
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