Mom always said, don't be greedy. But that's exactly how a valley woman fell for an online job scam. It lead to a big mistake, that could've had big consequences. Tonight, a Contact 13 consumer alert for anyone looking for work.
"It sounded like a great job, I went ahead and did it," says Jo Ann Deardorf.
She was looking for a part-time job. So she recently posted her resume online. A few days later, she was contacted by a travel and event planning business.
"They organize flights for maybe a group of people from a company that's going to come to Vegas or New York or wherever," says Jo Ann.
She says they hired her on a trial basis, and gave her a first assignment.
"All the task was, was they sent me a check, and I had to cash that check," says Jo Ann.
They sent her $2,400. All she had to do, was keep 5% for herself and wire the rest to Moldova, a small country next to Romania. But, there was a bonus for getting the job done within 24 hours.
"I would make 10%. So being greedy, I did turn it around, within a couple of hours," says Jo Ann.
She says a couple days went by, without a word from her new employer. That's when she started having second thoughts about sending the money. But out of the blue, she got an angry email from the company.
"Apparently the person that went to go pick up the money, the employee at the Western Union misspelled their name. Angel from heaven. So they couldn't pick up the transfer, they couldn't pick up the money," says Jo Ann.
She raced to Western Union to pick up the money. Then she contacted her bank, to verify if the check she had deposited, was real.
"They looked up the check. It was fraudulent," says Jo Ann.
It was pure luck, that she was able to get the money back. That's when she reached out to Contact 13. Jo Ann says she wants to warn others.
"I'm pretty savvy with business and the internet, and like I said, I'm just so embarrassed that I fell prey to this easy scam," says Jo Ann.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. When you apply for a job, do some research. In this case, the scammer was using the name of a real company. Jo Ann read their website, and called the business. But she never verified if the woman emailing her, actually worked for the company. And always speak with a live person. Get a phone number, or schedule a Skype conversation.
If you've been the victim of a scam, let us know. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll see what we can do to help.