BBB warns of Internet job scams - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

BBB warns of Internet job scams

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By Chris McGill - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE/WMC-TV) - The unemployment rate in Kentucky remains high and with schools out for the Summer, many people are turning to the web to find jobs. But the Better Business Bureau warns that while some online jobs may be tempting, they also could be a scam.

Louisvillian Sylvia Walters found that out the hard way when she applied for a job she saw advertised on the popular website Craigslist. That job turned out to be a scam.

"He said he wanted to hire me and then he went into great detail about him being a family man and that I would have to help him run his business and private matters from my home for $500 a week."

Walters is talking about an employment ad for a personal assistant she responded to on Craigslist. The ad was posted by a man claiming to be Robert Filter. Walters says that his ad and subsequent emails to her all looked legit. That was until she received her first assignment via email.

"The first assignment was that he was planning his daughter's birthday party and he needed someone to receive a check from him because he was out of town," said Walters. She was "to cash the check, to re-send it to someone in New York and [she] thought, 'well I'm not going to do that.'"

It's a good thing she didn't. The check that arrived at her door via UPS for almost $4,000 was fake and drawn on a closed account in California. Had Walters cashed the check, she would have eventually had to pay the bank back the entire amount.

The Better Business Bureau is now advising anyone looking for a job online to be extremely careful. In Walter's case, this person used one of the most common online tactics when it comes to employment scams according to Reanna Smith-Hamblin with the Louisville office of the Better Business Bureau.

"What happens is the person who is looking for a job will see an ad on Craigslist, they'll contact the person, usually via email and the person will contact them back and say you're perfect for this position." Hamblin goes on to say that at that person will then send a check and ask the job applicant to deposit it in their account and then wire money to someone else for some thing.

Since the economy and job market has been so rough, Hamblin says that scams like these are on the rise.

"In this instance job scams are up, people are unemployed, they're looking for the jobs (and) these scammers are just coming out of the woodwork taking advantage of those that really need the work at this time."

Walters says that she's going to take her address off of her cover letters and resumes and only send them out to local ads for employment. She believes if the scammer didn't have her home address he wouldn't have been able to send the bogus check in the first place.

Hamblin with the BBB agrees and says that once scammers get your address, phone number and email address they'll start to contact you and say you're perfect for the position. She says if it's "a great amount of money, sounds too good to be true, it is."

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