A work at home scam was recently reported in my local newspaper. The worst thing about this scam is that the people working at home are not even aware they are involved in a scam. They thought they were engaged in a legitimate work at home job.
The article is titled as a warning about an overpayment scam. In fact I wasn’t aware it was a work at home scam until towards the end of the article.
This scam was reported to Police by a local resident. Apparently his son had put a $60 item up for sale on Kijiji and someone emailed him saying they wanted to buy the item. They said they were presently in France but that they really lived in Ontario.
The buyer said he would send a money order and would make arrangements to have someone living locally go and pick up the item. The seller said OK.
The seller later received an envelope postmarked from France containing a bank draft from a bank in Ontario. The cheque was for $1,950. Way above the $60 price for the item being sold!
Here is what got the son’s father to think there was something”fishy” going on. The letter stated that the extra money was to pay the person for pick up and delivery of the item as well as other items to be picked up for the buyer.
The letter instructed the seller to deposit the bank draft and send a money gram for the excess to an address included in the letter. The problem is the excess money would have come from the sellers account. By the time the cheque bounced the money would have been transferred.
For several days the scammers kept sending emails putting pressure on the seller to deposit the cheque and transfer the money.
Here is how this also becomes a work at home scam. Scammers recruit people who are looking online for work at home jobs. They then ship a box of fake money orders or cheques and told to send them out to people who bought items locally om Kjiji. Those who are recruited to do this believing they have a legitimate job. What they don’t realize is that they could face criminal charges if the scam is busted.
This variation of the overpayment scam results in a double scam. One involving the seller and the other the person hired to distribute the cheques. Since the work at home scam is cloaked within the overpayment scam, its hard to detect.
Its important that these work at home scams complaints are exposed so that others can avoid them.