Re-shipping job scams can get you in trouble with the law

Mechele Agbayani Mills

Re-shipping job scams don’t deliver

The Better Business Bureau is warning job seekers about a scheme that promises you big money by working from home. It could actually land you in trouble with the law for shipping stolen goods.

It’s called the “re-shipping scam,” and it is becoming a popular way for scam artists to run off with your hard-earned money. The scam typically starts as a job offer on the internet and involves you receiving packages that you will, in turn, send to another location. The BBB advises job seekers to use caution with job descriptions that advertise “package processing,” “package forwarding,” “wiring funds,” etc. Individuals should be wary if they are asked to accept packages at their home address and forward them on, especially to a foreign country.

When you’re unemployed and out of work, a job that allows you to work from home and make a good salary can give you hope. However, it’s important to use extreme caution, as this makes the job seeker vulnerable to scams, and could even get them into legal trouble.

The BBB offers tips to help job seekers avoid these types of scams:

- Do some research. Check out the business at bbb.org and look at their Business Profile.

- Avoid job listings that use these descriptions: package forwarding, reshipping, money transfers, wiring funds and foreign agent agreements. These and similar phrases should raise a red flag.

- Do not be fooled by official-sounding corporate names. Some scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.

- Never forward or transfer money from any of your own personal accounts on behalf of the employer. Also, be suspicious if you are asked to wire money to an employer. If a legitimate job requires you to make money transfers, the money should be withdrawn from the employer’s business account, not yours.

- Do not give out your financial information. A potential legitimate employer will not request your bank account, credit card or PayPal account number. Only provide your banking information if a legitimate company hires you and you choose to have your paycheck direct deposited.

- Do not fax or email copies of your ID or Social Security number to someone you have never met or verified through a third party source. Credit checks and fake IDs can be obtained with this information. Only give these documents to your employer when you are physically at the place of employment.

- Don’t accept packages for people you don’t know.

- Remember, if there’s high pay for little work and little experience, it’s probably a scam.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.

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