Be Wary of "Work from Home" Offers - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Be Wary of "Work from Home" Offers

Updated:

The flexibility of working from home is very appealing for many people trying to make ends meet.

But scammers are taking advantage of people looking to make money from home.

In one scheme, bogus money orders worth about $750,000 were put in Express Mail envelopes and sent across the country to hundreds of people.

"I knew someone had been mailing hundreds of pieces over a year," said Bob Schmidt, U.S. Postal Inspector. "On a certain Saturday, 150 went out from six different post offices, about 25 each one."

Once postal inspectors confirmed who was sending all of these packages, they confronted the woman.

"She couldn't believe it at first, she wanted to help right away," said Schmidt. "Offered email, phone numbers, whatever I wanted to help catch the guy."

She said the checks and instructions on what to do came from West Africa.

"These people are usually victims themselves," said Schmidt. "They've gone online to look for a job to do from home. They get contacted by the scammers."

She didn't realize the checks were bad or that she was doing anything wrong.  She said she was promised up to $200-an hour.

Inspectors urge consumers to be skeptical of these promises.

"No company is going to pay that much money to have somebody stuff envelopes and ship them out," said Schmidt. "Be wary of anything online really. They can really disguise themselves. They could say they are whomever they want to be."

Investigators say these type of work at home offers have become more prevalent, but are rarely legitimate.

They stress consumers to thoroughly check out internet job offers and research the company.

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