Scammers Targeting Moms for Work-from-Home Schemes - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Scammers Targeting Moms for Work-from-Home Schemes

Updated:

The flexibility of a "work-at-home" job can be very appealing for mothers juggling different schedules.

That's why they can be prime targets for job schemes.

Alana Howell is one of those victims.

"I wanted to do something that could work around the schedules of all the kids 'cause everybody had different schedules and especially with the baby."

Howell, a single mother with 4 children, wanted to supplement her income.

"I was on the Internet looking for an online job, and I got an email and it said they we're looking for representatives in this state to build a bigger business," she said.

Alana was told she would be paid for depositing checks from the company into her account, then sending a percentage back to the company.

"I went to the bank, deposited the checks--they sent me two checks totaling almost $4,000. And then about 3 days later, received a note saying they're fraudulent checks."

Alana now owes the bank more than $3,000 and things have only gotten worse.

"I'm still stuck in a problem with the bank and my credit is going down and it's hard for me to pay that back because I have other bills I'm taking care of," said Alana.  "Really, really tough. It makes me feel horrible and vulnerable. After a while I felt kind of silly, and I think, 'why did I do that?' But I didn't know."

Law enforcement says this type of scam is on the rise. Suspects are sending out thousands of fake checks and trying to beat the system.

"The scam artist is counting on the bank releasing the money, or you having sufficient funds in your account to cover the expense check back to the scam artist," said George Jepsen, Connecticut Attorney General. "You don't discover the check is going to bounce until after you've wired or sent the money back to the scam artist."

Victims are then responsible to the bank for the fraudulent check amounts deposited.

Alana is angry.  "I'm a single Mom. I'm already struggling it as it is, taking care of what I need to take care of, and then you have people taking away from you and you're trying to make better for you and your family."

Alana is still struggling in her dispute with her bank.

She has a red flag on her account, which won't allow her to open any other bank accounts in other cities and states.

Postal inspectors say you should always be suspicious of a deal that's "too good to be true."

If you're not sure whether an opportunity you learn about through the mail or internet is legitimate, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Here is the link: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

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