A reader: I was looking for a job and posted my resume on an online job site. Then I received an email from a company that wanted to interview me. They told me the job paid $1,850 per month. All I had to do was reship packages for the 30-day probationary period. If I passed the probation period, I would be put on as a full time employee. The position was to reship merchandise. I would receive packages, open them, inspect them, repackage and reship them to another address. Most of the merchandise was electronic equipment like tablets, cell phones and the like. I gave these people my checking account info for automatic deposit and worked for them for 30 days and now they are just gone. I have been unable to reach them at all. What can I do?
Action Line: Work-at-home offers will promise you that you can make lots of money. With the reshipping scam, the scammers will ask you to receive packages and reship them to another destination. Mostly, the destination will be out of the United States. I would venture a guess that the merchandise you inspected and reshipped was purchased from legitimate businesses with stolen credit cards. You should contact your bank immediately and close the account that they were going to use for automatic deposit. There is no possibility of payment for you.
While there are many legitimate job placement companies that you could choose, job placements scams are on the rise. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission that will help you find a good company:
▪ If a company or organization is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company to find out if the company really is hiring through the service.
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▪ What’s the cost, what will you get, and who pays — you or the company that hires you? What happens if the service doesn’t find a job for you or any real leads? If they’re reluctant to answer your questions, or give confusing answers, you should be reluctant to work with them.
▪ Get a copy of the contract with the placement firm, and read it carefully. A legitimate company will give you time to read the contract and decide, not pressure you into signing then and there. Make sure any promises — including refund promises — are in writing. Some listing services and “consultants” write ads to sound like jobs, but that’s just a marketing trick: They’re really selling general information about getting a job — information you can find for free on your own.
BBB can tell you whether any complaints have been filed about a company. Just keep in mind that a lack of complaints doesn’t mean the business is on the up-and-up. You may want to do an internet search with the name of the company and words like review, scam, or complaint. Look through several pages of search results. And check out articles about the company in newspapers, magazines, or online, as well.
Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.