Are you looking for part-time employment or a work-from-home job? If so, you may be at risk for a new Internet employment scam. Criminals are using job sites like Craigslist, LinkedIn and CareerBuilder to post fraudulent ads targeting job seekers with a fraudulent “reshipping” scheme.
In today’s job market, everyone from recent college grads to stay-at-home moms are looking for more ways to supplement their income and scammers are taking advantage of this. The latest reshipping job scam gets unwitting victims to redistribute stolen or counterfeit goods, or simply rips them off with the promise of an easy paycheck.
If you’re hunting for a job, read on to find out how you can stay alert and avoid a reshipping scam.
Reshipping Job Scam Targets the Unemployed
ABC News in Fresno told the story of a recent college grad, Buddy Sentore, who stumbled on such a reshipping job scam recently.
The company billed themselves as a packaging service that helps customers save on shipping fees. Save so much, in fact, that they were offering what amounted to a full salary, benefits, and vacation time – for basically just going to the post office.
Sound too good to be true? Indeed it was Said ABC News:
“They guarantee you a minimum of $2,000.00 a month or $30.00 per completed package,” Senatore told Action News… Senatore admitted, “For how easy the work would be this is too much money.”
It’s the golden rule of scam avoidance: “too good to be true” usually is!
Fragile Job Market is Fertile Ground for Fake Job Scams
Scams like reshipping jobs, fake mystery shopper gigs, and paid opinion surveys are particularly tempting today. As job hunters realize there simply aren’t jobs out there in their chosen fields, they turn to whatever sounds like will pay the bills. Says the USPS:
Criminals post job announcements on Internet career sites offering work-at-home positions—sometimes advertised as “merchandising manager” or “package processing assistant.” Duties include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client, using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email.
Easy work, sure. Something you can do on the side while you’re looking for your dream job or changing career paths.
But, the USPS warns, those packages often contain stolen goods, goods purchased with stolen credit cards, or counterfeit money orders. Not something you want to be involved in, for sure.
On top of that, the scammers often pay their “employees” with more of the same counterfeit checks or money orders. This means you’ll be held liable with your bank or even face charges after you deposit your “paycheck.”
Signs That a Job May Be A Scam
Sure, there are totally legitimate “package processing assistant” jobs out there – shipping or fulfillment companies employ hundreds of people with that job title. But you can be pretty sure you’re looking at a scam job if there are any of the following red flags:
- Packages arrive addressed to someone else’s name at your address.
- Packages arrive at your door marked “Return to sender” – and you didn’t send them.
- “Employers” pay you by money order, ask you to deduct your earnings, and wire the rest to them.
If any of this sounds familiar, report the company immediately.
And remember, always research any potential employer before accepting any job along these lines. Speak to someone over the phone, ask questions and verify that they’re a real employer before committing to anything.
Don’t Let Desperation Cloud Your Judgement
Fake job scams can be harder than other scams to spot at first, especially when they involve well-written job board postings, complete employment agreements, and more. Add to that the desperation many job seekers are facing these days, and it’s not hard to overlook a too-generous pay scale.
But don’t fall for it! It’s not worth getting caught up in distributing stolen or counterfeit goods, and the pay will probably never come through.
If you encounter a job scam on Craigslist, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, or any other site, flag it immediately and submit a complaint on Scambook to warn other consumers.