Monday, July 06, 2009
Work-at-Home Scam Alert
The latest scam to hit the Internet has just arrived: Jobs for people seeking part-time positions--called "mail assistants"-- for work done at home. Vacancies are posted on Craigslist.com under the name of ABS Consulting. Based in the country of Luxembourg, ABS purports to have facilities throughout Europe, referred to as "Forward Luxembourg." It claims to be a leading global provider of risk-management services.
Job seekers are told they will provide mail forwarding services for expatriates, international travelers, and seasonal workers around the world. They are asked to perform simple tasks, including scanning mail received at home, e-mailing the scanned images to the company and then shipping accumulated mail to the company via prepaid postage labels.
After two weeks on the job, assistants get an e-mail promising a $2800 check, of which $1000 should be returned to the company to "test employees' integrity".
The $2,800 check may look legitimate but it's bogus. If the check is cashed, instead of getting paid, the individual will have to pay the bank the full amount. Worse, the scammer then has access to the individual's checking account, and the individual has committed a criminal violation by scanning victims' mail.
The Postal Inspection Service is working to quickly shut down this scheme by attacking the problem from several angles. If you have information on this or similar scams, report it online at https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/ or call 877-876-2455, option 3.