Scammers getting more sophisticated with ‘work from home’ job scam


Scammers getting more sophisticated with ‘work from home’ job scam

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Scammers are getting more sophisticated in the Mid-South.

FOX13 Investigates looked into a company that scammed a Memphis woman out of a paycheck after she worked six days a week for nearly a month. 

Ashlie Wilson, a mother of four, thought she found the perfect ‘work from home’ gig, but the company — Postal Board LLC — blocked her phone number and locked her out of her online work portal without paying her.

Wilson told FOX13 she has a lot going on. She’s got four kids, a live-in grandmother, and a sick dog who all count on her. So, when she saw a job posting that said she could work from home, she thought it looked like a perfect fit.

The Craigslist listing said the position paid $3,100 per month as a “shipping and receiving coordinator.” 

“I mean, it sounded like bread and butter, you know? It sounded great,” Wilson said. “I took a leave of absence from a weekly paying job to stay home with my kids and my 78-year-old grandma.”

Wilson applied online, was told she got the job, and then filled out a W4 form the company sent her. Now, not only is she out of a job — scammers have her driver’s license and social security number.

Wilson was even given an official orientation video, and felt like she backgrounded the company pretty well.

She said the job seemed too good to be true, and unfortunately, Wilson found out it was. Wilson said she thought she researched the company pretty well but wishes she looked into the company further. 

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“It didn’t just take a financial blow, it was a huge emotional blow, and a mental blow. I was like how can I not see this?” she said. “I really feel like I let them down as a mom. It really makes you feel bad because you’re a provider.” 

Postal Board LLC had Wilson working long hours almost every single day for a month.

But when it came to getting paid, she was left in the dark.

“The number you dialed cannot be reached from your calling area. Thank you for calling. Goodbye,” the automated tone said when Wilson called a Postal Board LLC phone number that used to work.  

Postal Board LLC has been the subject of several warnings on the Better Business Bureau’s website.

The BBB said the business appears to be unregistered, mail was returned as undeliverable to their alleged business address, and BBB employees were unable to reach a live person on the phone.

FOX13 Investigative Reporter Leah Jordan was also unable to contact a real person from three different phone numbers linked to the company. 

“These people are really good at what they do,” Wilson said. 

Nancy Crawford with the Mid-South BBB said if a job asks you to inspect packages and resend them, be cautious. There’s possibly some other illegal activity going on that you may be unknowingly partaking in – let alone the possibility of not getting paid. 

They advise folks to do thorough research on companies where you can work-from-home. You can do that on the BBB’s website, by thoroughly searching the company’s webpage, and making phone calls.

The BBB encourages people to call their office if they need help vetting a company.

Employment scams topped the list of the BBB 2018 Scam Tracker Risk Report. Most of these scams were work from home and “re-shipping” type scams, such as the one Wilson was a victim of. 

Nationwide in 2018, there were 4,394 reported employment scams on scam tracker with a total reported dollar loss of $3,239,850. In the Mid-South in 2018, there were 49 employment scams reported with a total dollar loss of $3,150. 

But sometimes, not a single dollar is lost – it’s just the victim’s time and ability to be making money at another job. That’s what happened to Wilson. 

“It’s gone from scamming where you’re spending all your money and you’re out of it, to where you don’t have to spend a dime,” Wilson said. 

She’s already received a notice from a bank she’s not with, so she believes identity theft and fraud happened.

If you have any questions about whether a company is legit, call the Mid-South BBB and they’ll help you with the research process at (901) 759-1300.

© 2019 Cox Media Group.

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