Scammers targeting people with work-for-home schemes

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – Scammers are getting better all the time at developing schemes to steal your identity through ads for at-home jobs.

We get shipping issues this time of year but now we hear the (Better Business Bureau) is warning of yet another scam. They’re called job scams.

“One is they will post jobs on job boards like Facebook and others posting they’ll pay money for people to receive packages to re-box them, reship them, and re-label them,” said Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen.

“The other one is scammers are posting jobs for shoppers, nannies, photography services, and they give people fake checks to buy equipment and ask them to buy money orders or prepaid gift cards for the difference in the amount, and then you find out later the check has bounced. So, you’re on the hook for that money.”

Is there anything else that can happen to you?

“Sure. Both of these are fraud-based scams, so basically you are becoming an unwilling accomplice to fraud. The second thing that can happen is, oftentimes, the person being scammed is using their identity to open bank accounts, open checking accounts, and stealing your personal identity.”

How can people avoid job scams?

“First of all, if you are looking for a work-at-home job, really research the job. Check with the BBB, do internet research, check email addresses, be wary of email addresses,” McNairy said. “A definite red flag is any job that deals with gift cards, forwarding money or packages. But even after all that, some scams are so sophisticated that you may not know the difference.”

Ultimately, the BBB recommends opening a second bank account or second email address to communicate with these companies or individuals in order to protect your personal information.

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