Internet scam targets unemployed

Posted: Updated:
By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- It’s an Internet scam that won't seem to go away. This scam targets the unemployed.

I've talked about this scam before but even after i report on it, people keep writing me saying, "Hey, I think I found a job, but is it a scam?"

Celestina Jones has basically made looking for a job into a job.
"I've been looking for a job for around two years," she said.

Jones expanded her search by turning to Craigslist and scanning the jobs section. There, she found a company looking for a front desk receptionist.

"It's a good paying job and it's 30 to 40 hours a week," she said. "You can't beat it."

So, Jones sent her resume and following an interview over the Internet with a woman named Lilian Warren, she was hired.

"Everything looked perfect so I'm thinking, "Yea, this is a real job, this is legit,'" she said.

But Jones said her job description suddenly took a turn. Instead of a receptionist, her so-called boss said she was transitioning Jones into collections.

"I've never done collections before so I was a little iffy," Jones said. "As for a receptionist, what does that have to do with collections?"

And Jones says when her boss wanted to mail her a check for $1,600 to purchase job supplies, bells and whistles really started going off.

After all, Jones thought why would a complete stranger mail her a $1,600 check?

"I'm not sure, I'm kind of scared," she said. "That's why I called 3 On Your Side. I don't want to go to jail."

3 On Your Side told Jones it was a scam. She would deposit the authentic looking check and then wire money back to her so-called boss who is really a con artist. The scammer would keep the money and five days later Jones would be on the hook for all that money when her bank discovers the check was fake.

Jones said she is thankful.

“I am excited and I am ready to move on to something knew," she said. "And Craigslist, they have some nice jobs on there, but I am not looking on Craigslist anymore. I'm sorry."

Craigslist does what it can to weed out these scammers, including posting a warning to people to never under any circumstances wire money.