CONSUMER ALERT: Victim caught up in work-from-home scam - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

CONSUMER ALERT: Victim caught up in work-from-home scam

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Ella was sent ski equipment, watches, and an electric guitar to ship out. Ella was sent ski equipment, watches, and an electric guitar to ship out.
Online job offers can be seductive, but as one woman found out, some of these jobs might bring you down a path you should definitely avoid.

"It was good money that you can make at home," says Ella Butler, a fraud victim.

That was what the online ad promised.  So Ella decided to apply for the job in the re-shipping business.
 
"They needed someone to send packages," says Butler.  "So I sent my information in."
 
After sending a copy of her driver's license, Ella signed a contract to re-ship items via express mail.
 
"Receive packages at my home and then send them wherever they tell me to send them," says Butler.  "It was easy money, $16 a package."
 
Ella was sent ski equipment, watches, and an electric guitar to ship out, but then she started to become suspicious.
 
"I noticed that all of the packages I was sending went to Russia," says Butler.  "All these different names coming to my address and I called the postal service."
 
"The internet allows fraudsters to hide behind the computer," says Frank Schissler, a U.S. Postal Inspector.

Postal inspectors began tracking the packages Ella was receiving.
 
"Basically, it is a fraudulent credit card purchase that is shipped to an individual in the US who unwittingly participating in the scheme from a work at home job," says Schissler.
 
"I felt like, 'well, Ella.  You have gotten caught up in something,'" says Butler.
 
Postal inspectors say the lesson here is before taking a job advertised online, check out the company with the Better Business Bureau or your the state's attorney general.  
 
"You can fall for this kind of scam, because they are just too good to be true," says Butler.  "It's quick money.  Do not fall for it."
 
"Quick"and "money" are the two key words here.  Postal inspectors say when you see them in an offer, the best advice is run in the other direction.   

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