Consumer Alert: Making ends meet - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Consumer Alert: Making ends meet

Source: Ivanhoe Newswire Source: Ivanhoe Newswire

A work-at-home opportunity was supposed to help one young mother make ends meet. But, the only person who made money was the conman behind the scheme targeting victims who are hoping to earn a little extra money.

Linda Thomas is a stay-at-home mom who was hoping to make some extra money for her family.

She was thrilled to find a payroll bookkeeping job online where she could make $1,400 a week.

"They would send me names through my Gmail account and all I had to do was put names on like a paycheck and I put them in a envelope and mailed them out through the mail," Linda Thomas, a fraud victim, said.

Linda worked for a month sending out two batches of checks per week until postal inspectors came to her home.

Turns out the checks and postage Linda was given were counterfeit. An astute postal employee was the first one to notice the problem.

"A bunch of express mail envelopes and they had the wrong postage, they had a priority label postage on it and we looked at the return address and they were like all different out of state return addresses," Stacy Kennedy, a U.S. Postal Service worker, said.

The people receiving these checks are also caught up in a scam. They are asked to deposit the check quickly and send money immediately to a given address.

"Only days or weeks later to find out that it was a counterfeit check," Joseph Bell, a U.S. Postal Inspector, said.

Those victims lost the money they sent with no recourse.

Inspectors say the most important lesson is to research any potential employer.

Google even the type of job that it is and likely if it is a scam, you're going to start seeing that type of language in your internet searches.

"It's hard to this day because I still think somebody's out on the street, somebody could be out on the street because of me, because I fell for something I shouldn't have fell for," Thomas said.

Postal inspectors say be cautious of any job asking you to buy supplies up front with your own money.

Copyright 2017 Litton’s Consumer Alert via WBRC. All rights reserved.

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