A warning from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau:
Fake companies are posting job openings for positions such as “merchandising manager,” “package processing assistant” or a similar variation. These positions involve processing payments, transferring funds and receiving stolen merchandise to ship to a foreign address.
“Many work at home opportunities involve cheating people out of money,” according to Connecticut Better Business Bureau Executive Communications Director, Howard Schwartz. “The reshipping scam, however, also deceives victims into getting involved in criminal activities.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says some of these companies set up elaborate web sites that require applicants to provide their Social Security number and date of birth to qualify for the job. The criminal/employer can then use that to commit identity theft, obtain credit cards, post fake on-line auctions and register Web sites in the victim’s name to commit additional crimes.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) says the offers also involve the use of counterfeit postal money orders.
The scheme typically employs an “overpayment” scam. The criminals may send a counterfeit check to cover shipping charges, instruct the victim to retain a portion and send the remaining funds by wire transfer. The deposited check may initially be accepted by a bank but will subsequently bounce.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) offers these tips to avoid becoming ensnared in a reshipping scam:
• Be wary if you are asked to ship packages to an “overseas home office.”
• Watch out if the individual states that his country will not allow direct business shipments from the United States.
• Be skeptical if the “ship to” address is yours but the name on the package is not.
• Never provide your personal information to strangers in a chat room, unverified website or via Social Media.
• Don’t accept packages that you didn’t order.
• If you receive packages that you didn’t order, either refuse them upon delivery or contact the company where the package is from.