In tough economic times it’s hard to imagine turning down a job.
Kristie Carter told NBC10 Responds she was thrilled to get an email in her inbox—offering work.
The former substitute teachers’ aid has been posting her resume on job sites since COVID hit last March. So, she was excited to receive the email.
“It said you were a good candidate, contact the HR department,” Kristie told NBC10 Responds. “I was supposed to receive packages, open them up, take pics, and print out labels and send them out.”
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The job would pay $3,800 a month.
According to Kristie, a person, who said they were a company employee, sent her a link to watch an information session online.
But when her computer’s security software initially blocked her from getting on the website to see the video, Kristie got suspicious. She emailed the company, turning down the work.
Then, a package showed up at her home.
Following Her Instincts
Kristie didn’t re-ship the box as she was instructed to do. Instead, she took the box to the West Deptford Police Department. An officer opened it to find lotions and other products from Victoria’s Secret.
“Almost always what we have found is that they are receiving goods that have been purchased with stolen credit cards," George P. Clark, the Postal Inspector for the Philadelphia Division, told NBC10 Responds.
According to Clark, a vendor or credit card company may flag the shipping of merchandise to other countries.
“So a U.S. citizen’s address is used, they receive the product, the seller thinks they’re selling it to a us citizen,” Clark said.
He explained how the scheme likely would have played out if Kristie opened the box.
“Inspect it. That’s sort of the work at home angle- make sure it is what we wanted and then re-ship it. Box it back up-- put the label that we’ve emailed on it and put it back in the mail stream. Off it goes to any number of different countries around the world," he said.
Inspector Clark said this kind of scheme used to involve electronics. Over the last ten years, it’s evolved into an array of consumer products.
Red Flags of an Employment Scam
According to the Postal Inspector, you should beware of these red flags when you’re contacted about potential employment.
- When it comes to easy money—if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Work from home jobs that are easy just don’t exist.
- If you receive an employment email from a generic email address, such as Hotmail or Gmail, be suspicious.
If you believe you are the victim of mail fraud report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.