M & L Gifts, LLC located in Biloxi, MS has become one of the latest victims of business identity theft. BBB serving Mississippi was alerted by several consumers to a company offering high paying part-time jobs selling products and gift cards to be sent overseas. All applicants were sent an employment agreement and instructions on what to do next. When the applicants questioned what type of job they would be performing, they received the original documents via email again. One consumer was asked to provide their credit report and banking information for direct deposit of their paychecks. BBB opened an investigation into the company and it’s business, only to find out they didn’t really exist. Mail was returned from the address listed on the company’s website and emails were not answered. When a BBB investigator went to the location listed on the company website, no business was found at the address.
During the investigation, BBB was contacted by the family that actually owns M & L Gifts, LLC, which used to be located in Edgewater Mall, advising BBB that they were a victim of identity theft. According to the family, M & L Gifts, LLC, after over 40 years of doing business in the Edgewater Mall, decided to close their mall location and just do business online. However, the registration for the domain was not kept and expired. Since the domain, http://mandlgifts.com, was now available and legitimate, it was most likely hijacked by someone, who then used the website to offer the fraudulent part-time jobs. BBB suspects the intended use was individual identity theft. “As more and more small businesses stop using their own websites and switch over to social media platforms to attract customers, they need to remember to renew that domain so it cannot be used by anyone else.” says Jackie Warren, investigator for BBB serving Mississippi.
Despite exciting promises, work at home offers are notorious for leaving potential workers high and dry. They promise large sums of money for various enterprises like filling out online surveys, home craft assembly, internet consulting, and home typing offers. Many of these offers even claim that you can earn a sustainable regular income, often exceeding the salaries of average full time workers. Advertisements can be found everywhere from newspaper ads to telephone poles.
THINKING ABOUT WORKING AT HOME?
Some things you should consider first
QUESTIONS TO ASK
Legitimate job opportunities require a contract - in writing – outlining what's involved in the work you are providing or the program they are selling to you. Here are some questions you might ask a potential work-at-home employer: