Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Work at Home Scams

Consumers need to be vigilant when seeking employment on-line.

The IC3 continues to receive numerous complaints from individuals who have fallen
victim to work-at-home scams.

Victims are often hired to "process payments", "transfer funds" or "reship products."
These job scams involve the victims receiving and cashing fraudulent checks, transferring
illegally obtained funds for the criminals, or receiving stolen merchandise and
shipping it to the criminals.

Other victims sign up to be a "mystery shopper", receiving fraudulent checks with
instructions to cash the checks and wire the funds to "test" a company's services.
Victims are told they will be compensated with a portion of the merchandise or funds.

Work-at-home schemes attract otherwise innocent individuals, causing them to become
part of criminal schemes without realizing they are engaging in illegal behavior.

Job scams often provide criminals the opportunity to commit identity theft when
victims provide their personal information, sometimes even bank account information
to their potential "employer." The criminal/employer can then use the victim's information
to open credit cards, post on-line auctions, register Web sites, etc., in the victim's
name to commit additional crimes.

If you have been a victim of Internet crime, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

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