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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    ‘Work at home’ could put you in jail! 

    Work at home could put you in jail!

    We’ve discussed the re-packaging or re-shipping scam before. Normally how it works is someone looking for work will reply to an employment ad for a work at home position. That person will usually be hired on the spot and will be asked to receive items in the mail then re-package them and send them to another destination. This is done to send items purchased with a stolen credit card to a location where the thieves can receive the item. More often than not, the person being used in the scam either doesn’t get paid or they lose money by cashing a phony check disguised as payment. However, one man from Alabama has ended up in prison for his efforts.

    According to the Daily Beast, the man had responded to one of these ads and was re-packaging items with no problem. That was until Postal Inspectors showed up at the man’s house letting him know that he was involved in a re-packaging scam. The man then emailed the people he was working or to tell them that he wouldn’t be packaging items for them anymore. The scammers then reportedly told the man that the Postal Inspectors were actually fraudsters who were trying to steal the items being re-packaged. So, the man kept re-packaging the items he received. That was until he received a shipment of high-capacity magazines for AK-47s marked ‘toy parts’. That’s when federal agents arrested the man. The man admitted to knowing that the boxes contained gun parts and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

    While this is a rare case of the re-packaging scam, it does show that entering into any number of work at home scams can be potentially costly to the victim. Whether it’s loss of funds, time, or personal information, these scams have proven to be quite effective in finding victims.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam 

    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam

    Many work at home job offers that you might find online are scams. In most of those cases, the scam is designed to either get you to pay money up front for ‘materials’ or some kind of background check. Again, you should never have to pay to apply for a legitimate job. However, a new twist on the work at home scam has been reported out of Montana and many of the state’s residents have fallen victim to it.

    In this new scam, the supposed job is that of a ‘repackager’. The ‘company’ sends products to your home then asks you to repackage them and mail the products to their destination address. The problem is that these products have been bought with stolen credit card information. Instead of having the items sent to the thieves themselves, they instead have them sent to an unwitting person who thinks they’re just doing the job asked of them. The victim then unknowingly repackages the products and sends them to the destination intended by the thieves. The victim has then transferred stolen goods and of course, the victim never gets paid.

    This isn’t just a stolen goods scam either. When a victim applies for this kind of job they’re asked to submit their social security number, address and a copy of their driver’s license. That in turn leads to identities being stolen scamming the victim twice in one go. If you believe you have been the victim of this scam it is recommended that you contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 9:48 am on May 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , work at home   

    Is work at home just fly by night? 

    Is work at home just fly by night?

    The off ramp to bankruptcy

    The work at home con has been around longer than the internet. Back in pre-internet days one of those cons was known as envelope stuffing. In it a prospective ’employee’ would pay a fee to receive materials in order to stuff mailers recruiting even more people into the scheme. With the proliferation of the internet these schemes have only become more prevalent.

    In more modern times instead of stuffing envelopes the victim, or mark, is asked to send of number of e-mails instead of envelopes, after paying money for ‘exclusive’ e-mailing software. Another work at home scheme that’s been around forever is that the ‘company’ will ask you to assemble small items such as jewelry. Again they will ask you for up front payment for materials then claim they only accept quality assembled items and your items will never meet their standards. One more work at home scam that’s been updated for the internet is the medical billing scam. While medical billing is a legitimate profession what the con artists will do is again, ask for money up front for either software or training. What they don’t tell the victim is that most medical offices usually have an in-house billing staff and rarely do they give out work to at home freelancers.

    While there are legitimate work at home positions the majority of them on the internet are designed to separate you from your money, your personal information or both. You should never have to pay money to get a job. So if you see an ad, either online or off, that promises big paydays for minimal effort stay away from it at all costs.

     
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