How the Scam Works:
You receive an email offering you a job at a business called Send-it-Off, Pick and Send or a similar name. "Here are the application form for you to fill and the job description to get more information about the position," the email reads.
You read the information. Send-it-Off claims to be a shipping service based in Wisconsin, and it is hiring "agents" to package items and mail them overseas. The company promises to reimburse "agents" for their expenses and pay a monthly stipend. It sounds like easy money, so you fill out the application form and send it back.
Soon, your first assignment arrives. You are asked to ship some electronics, such as an iPhone or iPad, to an address overseas. You send off the items... but your payment never arrives. You've been conned, and you may have just helped scammers move illegally obtained goods.
Watch out for variations on this scam. For example, con artists are likely to change the name of their "business" as word of the scam travels. Also, watch out for requests that could open you up to ID theft. Some victims reported sending a copy of their driver's license with their "job application," which gave scammers their name, address and photo.
Spot a job scam before you waste your time and money.
- Watch out for these phrases: Scam ads often contain the phrases "Teleworking OK," "Immediate Start" and "No Experience Needed." Watch out for ads that urge you to apply immediately.
- Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training.
- Some positions are more likely to be scams: Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as admin assistant or customer service representative. These often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants.
- If a job looks suspicious, search for it in Google. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam.
- Check out the business' website to make sure the opening is posted there. If you are still skeptical, call the business to check on the position. Don't rely on websites or phone numbers provided in the advertisement; find the "employer" on your own to make sure it's the real deal.
For More Information
To find out more about scams or report one, check out BBB Scam Stopper.