How to Spot Online Scams
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How to Spot Online Scams

The Internet is our link to the world. We have come to depend on it and in many respects some of us can not live without it. When you think about the service it provides my breath is taken away. On a personal note, I am not sure how we ever lived with out email. Then there is this site. It is slowly becoming my favorite.

But I would like to point out one site that has been providing a free service to many. In fact I have deep admiration for the minds that put it together. The site I am referring to has come through for me on many occasions.

For example, I found a buyer for one of my home on the site. I also found renters for my properties on the site. And I have even found game-full employment through the site. Friends have told me they have found great employees by advertizing on the site. So when I suspected the site was being used by scam artist it was difficult not to be concerned and I could not sit back and do nothing.

So, it is with the help of this site you are now viewing I am able to raise the alarm. Not being sure if I should mention the name of the other site in question my better judgment tells me no; and perhaps you as the reader can guess what site I am referring. In any event the name of the site is not what’s important here. It is exposing the scammers. This is more about raising the level of awareness.

Here’s how I stumbled across the scam. Like so many I was seeking a second job with the hopes of earning some extra money to make ends meet. On the great site which will remain anonymous I came across an add stating “Drivers needed $800 per Week”. Further made it clear this was a part-time job. I thought perfect!

After applying for the position I received an email with more details. The job involved picking up the client from the airport and then shuttling them around. It stated to be available for the client approximately 3 hours a night perhaps a maximum five nights a week. They were staying for four weeks. A rental would be made available or I could use my own car, seems reasonable so far.

Here where the red flags went up, method of payment. In the same email I was informed to expect a check. It would be sent out once I accepted the offer and provided my name, address, and telephone number via email.

Upon receiving the check it was my responsibility to cash it, take out my pay for the first week, $800.00 and send the balance in the form of a Western Union money gram to the client’s travel agent. It should be note the subsequent weeks’ pay were to be taken from these funds, along with any money for gas and other expenses that might be incurred.

Later found out the check I was to receive would be a company payroll check. For those who do not know banks are a little more lenient in cashing payroll check, especially if they know you as someone who is a long time customer.

Suffice it to say you will receive the check a week before your client is expected to arrive. You are requested to cash the check immediately upon receipt.

So here you are in good standing with the bank. You cash this check. You wire the cash Western Union to the travel agent who I find out has a California address. I happen to live in Hawaii.

The day of your client’s arrival is now here; guess what? No client, you’re stuck holding the bag for whatever the amount of the bad check. You know what they say, “If it sounds too good to be true”! In this case it sounds reasonable but for the less than savvy, I am afraid this one could squeak by. So be careful out there and if you know of any interesting scams please share them with us.

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