13 InvestigatesScam Alert


CONTACT 13: Valley mom looking for work becomes target of scam

Posted at 10:55 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:46:20-05
A valley mom finds the perfect job. Best of all, she thought she was helping a special needs family. But what happened next was a complete surprise.
Young mom, Shannon Keegan, is looking for work. She's a part-time babysitter and recently decided to post her resume online. It took only a few hours for someone to contact her.
"She needed me to watch her 6 year old son, who was in a wheelchair," says Shannon.
A Texas woman named Emily sent this email explaining that she's "hard of hearing" and moving to Las Vegas to work with the deaf. Before hiring Shannon, she asked for some basic information, plus a picture. Shannon snapped a picture and answered Emily's questions. The very next day, Shannon was hired at a rate of $25 an hour.
"I want to be able to take care of him and her, and help her, and if she's willing to pay me that much, hell yeah," says Shannon.
Emily was also purchasing a new wheelchair for her son, but she needed help. This was the real shocker. She sent Shannon a check for more than $3,400. Shannon was instructed to deduct her first payment.
"And then I was going to send the rest of the $3,060 to the wheelchair seller," says Shannon.
Shannon admits, it was a little strange getting so much money from someone she didn't know.
"But I mean I'm hurting for money at this point. So I was all for it," says Shannon.
But Shannon says something about the check caught her attention.
"It came from Fresno, a Credit Union in Fresno, California. But she was supposedly coming from Texas," says Shannon.
So she spoke with her mother-in-law, who warned this might be a scam. Well guess what, she was right. A copy of the check actually reveals a hidden VOID stamp. 
"They almost got me. I almost put that in my account, and if that was the case, I would have been out $3,000," says Shannon.
Contact 13 spoke with Brad Beal, president and CEO of One Nevada Credit Union. He says in order to avoid falling victim, never deposit a check from someone you don't know.
"No depository knows when they receive a check, whether the check is good or not... The computer printers have gotten so good these days that the counterfeiters can easily duplicate a check," says Brad.
It could take a few days, or even a few weeks before your financial institution knows if a check is legit.
"The important thing for consumers to remember is they are responsible for every check they deposit," says Brad.
So now Shannon is taking time to warn others. Don't fall for a heartbreaking story.
"Stop and pay attention to what they're asking you for, and what information they're trying to get from you. Always kind of just watch your back," says Shannon.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. When you apply for a job, make sure to speak with someone. If you can't meet in person, then suggest Skype, or at least a phone conversation. Shannon admits she was never able to get this person on the phone.
And beware of any employer that's willing to send you a check, before you even start working.
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