Work-at-home scam artists will go to any lengths to prey on the earnest desires of job seekers in need of work, but Virtual Vocations is here to alert you to their schemes.
Scammers often rely on ploys like playing to the emotions of their victims or portraying themselves as a credible source in order to establish trust, according to a Better Business Bureau report on FINRA’s examination of the science behind scamming tactics. The recently uncovered job scams described below utilize both of these tactics to trap job seekers into a web of deceit.
Beware these two new job scams affecting telecommuters in search of legitimate work-at-home jobs:
$75K Purchaser Scam
In a call made to Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s WPLG ABC Local 10 News consumer reporter Christina Vazquez, an area woman named Catherine Ulrich reported that she had been offered a work-at-home job via an email recruiter promising $75,000 a year for purchasing international goods.
After being told she got the job despite never having interviewed for it, Ulrich became suspicious. Her suspicions were confirmed when the email recruiter asked Ulrich for her bank account details, credit limit information, and credit card number. The email recruiter attempted to assure Ulrich in saying that this information was critical to the success of her new job, as she would be required to make product purchases from non-U.S. merchants.
Thankfully, Ulrich listened to her gut and did not comply with the email recruiter’s request, but rather phoned her local consumer reporter to share news of the scam. Providing such sensitive financial information to an unfamiliar source could have resulted in Ulrich’s identity being compromised or new credit card and bank accounts being opened in her name.
IGM Fake Check Scam
Operating under the identity of a legitimate employer—Canada-based IGM Financial Inc.—a con artist approached Janet Woody of Mitchell County, North Carolina in April 2016 with an $18/hour work-at-home accounting job (Follow this link to browse current, legitimate Telecommute Accounting Jobs in our database.)
Unlike the $75K Purchaser Scam mentioned above, Woody did participate in a job interview and by her account the interviewer asked all of the typical questions any job seeker would expect to answer. Upon accepting the job, Woody was even mailed a large check to cover costs for training materials and work supplies.
The $3,140 check for training materials and supplies was fake. Unfortunately, Woody only learned that the check was fake after she deposited the check in to her bank account and routed nearly $1,500 to the employer’s “vendor,” who was supposed to supply Woody with her new work supplies.
Ms. Woody is now personally responsible for the $1,500 she wired to the vendor. She is working with her local police department and IGM to track down the scam artist posing as a hiring manager from the company. However, there is a silver lining to this story: Woody had not formally resigned from the job she had at the time she accepted the scam offer, so she is still gainfully employed.
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