Authorities: Work from Home Scams on the Rise in Georgia

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scam alert1

Attorney General Chris Carr and the Consumer Protection Division are warning Georgians about scammers operating under the veil of potential employers.

“We are seeing a wave of fake employer scams where con artists use information posted on job websites and forums to exploit victims,” Attorney General Chris Carr said in a news release. “We want all Georgians to have access to quality jobs and opportunities that allow them to thrive, and we will not tolerate this disturbing trend. If you’re in the market for a new job, especially a work-from-home opportunity, look out for the following red flags of a scam.”

It can be difficult to distinguish legitimate online job offers from those placed by people who are just out to scam you, especially when it comes to work-from-home jobs. Scammers advertise jobs on the same online job sites that real employers and job placement firms use, hoping they can con you out of your money or get you to turn over your personal information.

These scams are becoming more sophisticated. Scammers may pose as job recruiters or as employees of legitimate companies. They monitor online job sites and send emails to people who have posted their resumes there.

In one instance reported to our office’s Consumer Protection Division, a scammer sent an email posing as a manager from a company called Huawei Technologies. In an email, the scammer claimed that after reviewing the applicant’s resume, they were offering her a job working from home that involved price comparing products online and entering that information into a Google spreadsheet. The scammer told the victim she would receive $4,000 a month for this work. Once the victim accepted the job, the scammer sent another email asking her to fill out a W-4, a direct deposit authorization form, a photo of the front and back sides of her driver’s license, a current photo of herself and a utility bill (as “proof of residency”). The victim emailed back this information and began work as described. She did not realize she had been scammed until a month went by and she never received a paycheck as promised. By then, she was unable to reach the scammer, who now had all the information needed to access her bank account, create fake IDs, commit tax identity fraud and apply for credit cards in the victim’s name.

The Consumer Protection Division wants consumers to be familiar with these red flags of a job scam:

If you think you’ve been targeted by a job scam, you can submit a complaint to the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division.

This is a press release from the Georgia Department of Law.