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Consumer Alert: Watch out for work at home scams


Hand over keyboard of the laptop in server room

Hand over keyboard of the laptop in server room

It sounded like the perfect job. It had a good salary and flexible benefits. But, in this case, the worker ended up being caught in an international scam.

"I was warned by a lot of people about Craig's List, but a lot of people get jobs off Craig's List," says victim Iretha Clark.

Clark was at home on disability, but looking for a part-time job with flexible hours. She was thrilled to find work as a shipping coordinator. She received packages and sent them overseas.

"I thought it was so great because I'll be at home and you know it wouldn't be so much of a struggle," says Clark.

The job touted a base salary of $1,500 every month and the a chance to earn a bonus.

"These people who were being recruited believe that they are going to be compensated either for a box they ship out or that they will be compensated for a month or every couple weeks," says U.S. Postal Inspector Reginald Wade.

Clark was given a diagram with specific instructions on what to do, including how to receive packages, take pictures of the items and send them overseas.

"He even gave some directions on what to say to the clerk," says Wade.

After working for two weeks, Iretha received a letter from her employer saying her packages were not being received. Clark had all of her paperwork, so she filed a report with her local post office. She learned she was caught up in a scam when a postal inspector showed up at the door.

"I was like 'oh my God what's going on.' I just like 'wow, I'm going to jail'," says Clark.

"When we interview them a lot of them say I thought something didn't feel quite right," says Wade.

"I still feel embarrassed about how I let that happen to me. I blame myself," says Clark.

If you're looking for a job online, be prepared to do some homework and ask yourself one important question.

"What legitimate company is going to send items to you in somebody else's name and have you send them to another country. Why wouldn't they do it on their own?" says Wade.

Postal inspectors also recommend doing research on the company offering you a position, including checking with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general's office.


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