Attorney General warns of job scams

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This week, Mississippi’s Attorney General Jim Hood released a warning with regards to scams involving employment opportunities via the Internet and websites such as Craigslist.
In a news release, Attorney General Hood said that his investigators have received a large number of calls about this type of scam.
Recent schemes involve requesting assistance of family members and advertising on personal vehicles, in order to receive a salary, the release states. In a common scam, the consumer will send an email soliciting information from the “employer,” who then contacts the consumer, via email or text message, about fake employment.
“The scam artists make the opportunity sound great and relatively easy for consumers who are seeking a job,” Hood said in the release.
A classic scam involves the “employer” sending one or more checks to the consumer, the release states. The consumer is directed to first deposit the check and keep a chunk for a “monthly salary,” and then deliver the remaining funds via wire transfer, money gram or green dot money card into another account.
The check appears legitimate because it has a routing number based on an actual account, the release states. However, after a few days, the check bounces leaving the consumer to pay the money back to the bank. At that point, the scammer has the money, the release states.
According to the release, the scam is similar to a lottery scam, which preceded the Internet. The lottery scam involved a con artist sending checks by mail to a winning consumer. The “winner” would be told to cash or deposit the check and return a portion of the money to the sender to cover taxes or fees. The consumer would find then find [ the check had bounced, the release states.
“Consumers always need to be wary of sharing personal information or acting quickly on deals that seem too good to be true,” Hood said in the release.
The attorney general asks anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to this scam to contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-281-4418 or they can visit to download a complaint form.

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