Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 4, 2009
Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI: Donít be Fooled by Work-at-Home Scams

The FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) continue to receive numerous complaints from individuals who have fallen victim to work-at-home scams and remind consumers to be vigilant when seeking employment online.

These work-at-home schemes are designed by criminals to gain the trust of job seekers in order to take advantage of working relationships to further illegal activity. Most victims do not even realize they are engaging in criminal behavior until it is too late.

In many of the reported scams, victims are often hired to “process payments,” “transfer funds,” or “reship products.” However, these scams exploit unwitting employees by having them cash fraudulent checks, transfer illegally obtained funds for the criminals, or receive stolen merchandise and ship it to the criminals.

Other scams entice victims to sign up to be a “mystery shopper,” receiving fraudulent checks with instructions to cash the checks and wire the funds to “test” a company’s services. Victims are told they will be compensated with a portion of the merchandise or funds.

Job scams also often provide criminals the opportunity to commit identity theft when victims provide their personal information, sometimes even bank account information, to their potential “employer.” The criminal/employer can then use the victim’s information to open credit cards, post on-line auctions, register websites, etc., in the victim’s name to commit additional crimes.

“Don’t get duped by these criminals offering easy money. Remain skeptical of unsolicited job offers that sound too good to be true and report any scams you might encounter,” said Richard Kolko, FBI National Press Office. 

To receive the latest information about cyber scams, please go to the FBI website and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov. For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's New E-Scams and Warnings webpage at www.fbi.gov or www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.

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