Consumer Alert: Work-from-home fraud prevalent

September 8, 2013

Some of them are outright scams, says one fraud victim.

"I thought it was going to be worth it because I get to work from home. This is fantastic," said Daniel Dimaio.

Dimaio thought he had found the perfect job online as a logistics specialist for a commerce website.

"My responsibility was to re-package everything and upload a shipping label off their website," he said.

It sounded good, but Dimaio was actually caught in the middle of a sophisticated re-shipping scheme.

"People from overseas who in most cases have stolen credit cards numbers, use those numbers to order merchandise from American companies. These companies often won't send things overseas so they have to recruit an American a middle person to receive this merchandise," said US Postal Inspector Steve Bolz.

The con artists offered him $50 for every package he sent and said he may get up to thousands in one month.

"I was at $2,700 so I was on top of the world. Thinking i was getting a fantastic pay day, until it didn't come," said Dimaio.

"There will be a promise of $50 a parcel, but it is all bogus. At the end of the day they will never see a dime," said Bolz.

Daniel learned his lesson quickly and called postal inspectors.

"When I really realized it was a scam I was like oh my gosh… I'm an idiot," he said.

Inspectors say re-shippers often lose money. Many are asked to buy packing supplies and scales and are told they will be reimbursed.

"I tell people if it deals with another country and some kind of commerce or business dealings with a foreign country, look out, it may be a scam," said Bolz.

"I learn from it and move on," said Dimaio.

Postal inspectors say it is important to always check out the business trying to recruit you. They recommending checking the company's website as well as the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.

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