Shipping scam targets people looking to work from home

By Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 06 2014 06:43:15 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 06 2014 06:20:00 AM EST

it seemed like the perfect job.  It had a good salary and flexible hours. But the worker in this case ended up being ensnarled in an international scam that could target anyone next.

"I was warned by a lot of people about Craigslist, but a lot of people get jobs off Craigslist," said Iretha Clark.

Clark also got a job through the website.  She was at home on disability, but was looking for a part-time job with flexible hours. She was thrilled to find work as a "Shipping Coordinator."  The job was to receive packages and ship them overseas.

"I thought it was so great because I'll be at home and you know it wouldn't be so much of a struggle," said Clark.

Plus, the job touted a base salary of $1500.00 every month, with the chance to earn a bonus.

"These people who were being recruited believe that they are going to be compensated either for a box they ship out or that they will be compensated for a month or every couple weeks," explained US Postal Inspector Reginald Wade.

Clark was given a diagram with specific instructions on what to do, including how to receive packages, take pictures of the items and then send them overseas.

"He even gave some directions on what to say to the clerk," added Wade.

After working for two weeks, Clark received a letter from her employer saying her packages were not being received.  She had all of her paperwork, so she filed a report with her local post office.  Clark quickly learned she was caught up in a scam when a postal inspector showed up at her door.

"Badge bam in my face, and I was like, 'Oh my God! What's going on?'  I was just like, 'Wow, I'm going to jail,'" she said.

"When we interview them, a lot of them say, I thought something didn't feel quite right," added Wade.

"I still feel embarrassed about how I let that happen to me. I blame myself," admitted Clark.

If you are looking for a job online, Clark says be prepared to do some homework and ask yourself, "What legitimate company is going to send items to you in somebody else's name and have you send them to another country? Why wouldn't they do it on their own?"

Postal inspectors also recommend doing research on the company offering you a position including checking with the better business bureau and the state attorney general's office.

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