Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Work at Home Scams

The Postal Inspection Service is warning us about a scam, where people are hired to work at home and reship merchandise. In these scams, people are tricked into receiving stolen goods and shipping them to destinations, primarily overseas. The activity has become so organized that ads are being placed on web sites for jobs, such as Monster.Com. Other people are recruited on dating sites and in chat rooms.

The end shipping destinations have been Eastern Europe, Nigeria, Brazil and the Phillipines. These groups are the same ones involved in the growing problem of identity and information theft. They use the stolen information to purchase expensive items, which are sent to the people recruited into these (work at home) scams. Many of these people are also tricked into setting up accounts where stolen funds are deposited via fraudulent electronic transfers. They are then instructed to wire the money to their so-called employers overseas. Guess who is left holding the proverbial bag when any fraud is discovered and the money is gone in a faraway land?

The Postal Inspection Service recommends checking any of these offers out through the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, or your State Attorney General. You can click on the title of this post to the Postal Inspector's warning on these scams with links to these organizations.

Please remember that if you run into one of these scams you are only helping the criminals by remaining silent.

Please report any and all activity to the appropriate authority. There is a link for reporting internet crime in the links section of this site.

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