PHOENIX - Kathy Riggs said she has been desperate to find work for months.
"I have three kids, and with not really being able to pay my bills, that kind of puts a real damper on Christmas," she said.
Riggs thought her luck had finally turned around when she applied for a job online and the company responded.
"It seemed like a real job interview," she said. "They asked me about my job skills and they referenced my resume."
The company, which appeared to be based out of India, mailed Riggs a $2,000 check so she could buy special software, allowing her to work from her home computer.
Riggs was instructed to cash the check and then wire the money to the software vendor.
"When the bank handed me a large amount of money, that was when I was really happy because I was really sure that I had a job," she said.
But days later, the bank told Riggs the check was fraudulent and, because she had already forwarded the money, she had to repay the bank.
Riggs then realized the job posting was a scam created by a con artist.
"They took advantage of my desperation and they've ruined my kids' Christmas," she said. "How does he sleep at night?"
Riggs is one of many people who have been victims of Internet scams.
Crooks often deceive Internet users by stealing names and logos from legitimate companies, appearing authentic.
But asking people to wire money is often a sign that a job posting or other online advertisement is a hoax.