3OYS: Job applicant gets caught up in $2,300 scam

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Raine Selin has a passion for his motorcycle and his dogs. In fact, he spends a lot of his spare time either riding or taking his dogs for walks.

But those satisfying moments have all taken a backseat to a problem that seemed to drop out of nowhere, and it all began when Selin was surfing the Internet recently.

"I was looking for a job on Craigslist and I looked under laborer," he told 3 On Your Side. "I found one that said $40 an hour for a warehouse worker."

That kind of money sounded pretty good to Selin. So, he responded to the ad, and a company representative not only replied back, he hired Selin right on the spot. He even mailed Selin a check for more than $2,000.  

All that money sure did sound enticing.

Selin said, "I should have known because who's just going to send out big checks to you?"

Well, scammers do.   

Selin didn't know it at the time, but he was dealing with a scammer. Still, that big check sounded so good.

"I had 97 cents in the account and a $2,000 check in my hand," Selin said, "and I was like, 'Well, let's just see what happens.' "

Selin deposited the money into his Chase bank account and waited until the next day.    

Then, the next afternoon, he checked his balance and the funds were still in his account. Everything appeared to be OK.

So, he took the money like he was instructed to do from emails he received. He then deposited the money into a Wells Fargo bank account. Selin says he had no idea at the time that the Wells Fargo account belonged to the scammer himself.

"He gave me the routing number, the account number and the guy's name (on the account). I didn't think nothing of it," Selin said.

The $2,000 money transfer from one account to another was his "first warehouse assignment."

The money, Selin was told, was to pay for shipping materials to a warehouse. For his time, Selin was told to keep more than $300 for his services.

However, Selin learned an expensive lesson when Chase Bank told him two days later that check he deposited was no good. It usually takes banks more than 24 hours to determine if a check is good.

However, it was too late because Selin had already forwarded the funds to the conman. That means Selin is now responsible for the $2,300 he withdrew.

"I'm just a guy trying to get a job, trying to meet my bills. I'm already in debt and this put me another $2,300 in debt," he said.

3 On Your Side has consistently warned people to use caution when receiving checks in the mail, particularly checks for large amounts, from people they don't know.

If you're ever asked to deposit the money and then forward funds, you are 100 percent getting involved in a scam.

One final note, this scam is pretty common in the sense that Selin was asked to deposit a check and then forward money.

However, this particular scam is slightly different and more bold because the scammer asked that Selin deposit the the money directly into the scammer's own bank account.

Usually, the conman asks for the funds to be wired or loaded on to a prepaid card because it is more difficult for authorities to investigate.