Consumer Alert: Work From Home Scams

Whether it's working from home, or looking for work, the BBB says employment scams are "exploding".

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 8:26 AM
Updated: Apr 24, 2020 10:03 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - With more Americans at home, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are cashing in on your vulnerability.

Whether it's working from home, or looking for work, The Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana says employment scams are "exploding".

Tim Mansicalo, President and CEO, says Americans are vulnerable to falling for these scams for three key reasons:

  • We are alone
    Because there is no one in our ear to warn us, Maniscalo says it's easier for people to be a victim.
  • We are online
    According to the BBB, most scams are originating through e-mail and social media
  • Fear Factor
    Because of the uncertainty of jobs, the economy, the virus, etc., scammers often capitalize on your worry of safety and security.

Maniscalo says a popular scam, they're seeing, is one that targets people working from home.

Scammers will either send you an email, or call, posing as your current employer. They claim there's a virus in your device and an IT person needs access to your computer to fix it.

Once you hand over control, Mansicalo says scammers will hold your device hostage in exchange for money.

If you receive a notification, like this, Mansicalo suggests directly contacting your employer to verify if the message is actually from them.

Another scam that's becoming popular is targeting the unemployed, who are actively looking for work online.

Mansicalo says scammers will pose as a potential employer by soliciting a lucrative "work from home" job.

"It can be very lucrative, even making $1,000 a week," he said, "Someone is going to offer you this job, and they're going to say you need some special training or you need some special software."

Maniscalo says the "company" will send you a check up front. 

"Let's say it's $2,000," said Maniscalo, "You're going to take that check, deposit it in your checking account and then the software is going to cost you maybe about $1500. They'll say just keep the extra $500 as a starting bonus, or something like that, but you need to purchase the software."

Mansicalo says that leaves you to send a personal check to get your "software" for the job.

"That check that they gave you, the $2,000, that check is no good," he added, "In about ten days, it's going to bounce. It looks real, the bank is going to accept it, but it's going to bounce on you."

"Then, what you've done, is you just sent a phony company $1500," Maniscalo added. 

While the "job offer" appears real, Mansicalo says the BBB has found very few work from home schemes to be legit. 

If you feel you've been a victim of a scam, or want to know about scams being reported in your area, visit ScamTracker.org

If you're unsure of a potential employer's credibility, you can visit the BBB's website to view accredited organizations and businesses.

Terre Haute
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Robinson
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 80°
Rockville
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Casey
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Brazil
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 82°
Marshall
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Nice Weather Continues
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1387904

Reported Deaths: 25505
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55597610438
DuPage923281316
Will769071031
Lake683241011
Kane59394804
Winnebago34070501
Madison30911526
McHenry29179294
St. Clair28287519
Peoria23443340
Champaign21094154
Sangamon19075237
McLean18544187
Tazewell17217304
Rock Island15238328
Kankakee14536216
Kendall1327198
LaSalle12768249
Macon10992211
DeKalb10101121
Vermilion10000141
Adams8667126
Williamson7573134
Whiteside7197174
Boone682977
Ogle620683
Grundy598778
Clinton578791
Coles5765100
Knox5640153
Jackson510065
Henry507470
Livingston489691
Woodford482382
Stephenson481585
Macoupin478288
Effingham476672
Franklin454678
Marion4511117
Jefferson4418122
Monroe438094
Lee419453
Randolph416387
Fulton405259
Logan396263
Morgan393282
Christian383875
Montgomery379274
Bureau378283
Fayette322155
Perry319960
Iroquois313267
McDonough290451
Jersey271652
Douglas260536
Saline260157
Lawrence241127
Shelby232437
Union227040
Crawford214425
Bond208724
Cass203127
Ford188648
Warren183748
Clark183633
Jo Daviess182724
Pike181753
Wayne180853
Hancock180231
Carroll178037
Richland176940
Edgar176240
White170226
Washington164825
Moultrie162928
De Witt157329
Mason154145
Piatt152314
Clay149543
Mercer149334
Johnson147216
Greene145334
Massac135840
Wabash135612
Cumberland130019
Menard124812
Jasper116118
Marshall108219
Hamilton84215
Schuyler7797
Brown7286
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Henderson53114
Calhoun5292
Scott4881
Putnam4863
Alexander47311
Gallatin4684
Hardin39112
Pope3274
Out of IL20
Unassigned02422

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 749835

Reported Deaths: 13752
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031281779
Lake555181006
Allen41642691
St. Joseph36959564
Hamilton36537416
Elkhart29373459
Tippecanoe22871224
Vanderburgh22544400
Porter19339325
Johnson18412388
Hendricks17594317
Clark13202193
Madison13128344
Vigo12606253
LaPorte12400221
Monroe12175175
Delaware10949198
Howard10270225
Kosciusko9615119
Hancock8556145
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7775180
Grant7230179
Wayne7158201
Boone6922103
Morgan6742141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6208116
Cass5997109
Henry5894108
Dearborn589078
Noble580287
Jackson508774
Shelby500897
Lawrence4735121
Gibson444293
Harrison441073
Clinton440455
DeKalb438985
Montgomery434890
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399359
Miami392968
Jasper387054
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330853
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286685
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange273072
Scott269955
Clay266048
Washington245034
Randolph244683
Jennings235249
Spencer234231
Starke227858
Fountain219147
Sullivan214043
Owen211258
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187037
Rush175726
Vermillion174044
Franklin170235
Tipton166046
Parke149016
Pike138134
Blackford136132
Pulaski120347
Newton113036
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101114
Martin91615
Warren83615
Switzerland8108
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420