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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Work From Home Scam
October 27, 2010
Work From Home Scam
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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Work From Home ScamPeople continue to lose money from work-from-home scams that help cyber criminals move stolen funds. Worse yet, due to their deliberate or unknowing participation in the scams, these people may face criminal charges.
Work-from-home scam victims are often recruited by organized cyber criminals through newspaper ads, online employment services, unsolicited emails, and social networking sites advertising work-from-home opportunities.
Once recruited however, rather than becoming an employee of a legitimate business, the consumer is actually a "mule" for cyber criminals who use the consumer’s or other victim's accounts to steal and launder money. In addition, the consumer’s own identity or account may be compromised by the cyber criminals.
Example of a Work-From-Home Scheme:
• An individual applies for a position as a rebate or payments processor through an online job site or through an unsolicited email
• As a new employee, the individual is asked to provide his/her bank account information to his/her employer or to establish a new account using information provided by the employer
• Funds are deposited into the account that the employee is instructed to wire to a third (often international) account. The employee is instructed to deduct a percentage of the wired amount as their commission
• However, rather than processing rebates or processing payments, the individual is actually participating in a criminal activity by laundering stolen funds through his/her own account or a newly established account
• Be wary of work-from-home opportunities. Research the legitimacy of the company through the Better Business Bureau (for US-based companies) or WHOIS/Domain Tools (for international companies) before providing personal or account information and/or agreeing to work for them.
In addition, TrustedSource.org can help you identify companies that may be maliciously sending spam based on the volume of email sent from their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
• Be cautious about any opportunities offering the chance to work from home with very little work or prior experience. Remember: if it looks too good to be true, it usually is
• Never pay for the privilege of working for an employer. Be suspicious of opportunities that require you to pay for things up front, such as supplies and other materials
• Never give your bank account details to anyone unless you know and trust them.
If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: www.IC3.gov. The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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