FBI warns NJ jobseekers: It sounds like a great gig, but it’s really a scam
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The FBI is warning New Jersey residents about what they’re calling “advance fee” scams.
According to Edgar Koby, supervisor special agent in charge of the transnational threat unit of the FBI Newark Division, scam artists are checking career websites, looking to “hire” someone as a re-shipper.
“They tell the individual their job is to receive product coming from their company, and then resend it overseas,” he said.
But what’s actually going on is “they’re using stolen credit card numbers to purchase items online, and then this individual takes the items, puts them in another box, FedExes or then sends them through the mail overseas.”
He said another variation of this scam is where someone will hire an individual and tell them to open a bank account in order to get money wired to it.
The money, however, is stolen or fraudulent checks — and then once you take out your fee, you then send the rest of it overseas to us.”
Koby explained people who do this are actually a co-conspirator to the criminal act, but they don’t realize it
He said someone who becomes a re-shipper may actually be interviewed for the job.
“They’ll actually have a contract where they’ve signed it and emailed it back, and I get X amount of money to do this, and they truly believe they’re actually performing a job,” he said.
“They’ll target people who put in their resumes 'I have to work from home,' for whatever reason, they have to watch the kids or they have an injury, or they don’t have a car, and they’re looking for part-time work from home and for many people they think this is a great job.”
Another popular scam making the rounds is the romance scam.
He said many criminals involved in fraud will visit dating sites and “they contact a perspective person to date, then they’ll ask them for money for a plane ticket or some kind of money to pay for an injury, or something happened in their family.”
Koby said individuals or criminal enterprise groups that do this scam are very good at picking up signs and signals of loneliness.
“They listen to them based on their conversations, they identify what they perceive to be weak areas in that individual and they target those areas,” he said.
“They’ll look at the person’s profile, if they like kids, if they like dogs, if they like to go someplace, they’ll tailor their message along that line.”
He said one indication your new flame may be out to scam you is “if you’re dating someone for three months and they always have a reason why they can’t come meet you, and then the individual starts asking for money. They usually say something like I’ll repay you quickly, but then they don’t of course.”
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.