Online scam targeting job seekers; What to look out for if someone offers you a job

For the past couple months, Pamela Parchman has been searching the web for part-time work.

Finally, she got an email offering her a job as a mystery shopper. The position paid $400-$750 a week to survey two to three businesses.

"So I thought, well what the heck, it looked like something I was qualified to do," Parchman said.

The company asked Parchman to send them her personal information, so she did.

Then they said they would send her a check that she must deposit into her bank account.

"To me that was a great big, red flag," she said.

She called the Problem Solvers. We looked up the company and couldn't find anything on them.

The address listed in the mail didn't even exist and neither did the person who sent the email.

Reviewing the emails, one said that Rite Aid, Walmart, Kmart and the United States Postal Service "wanted shoppers to evaluate locations in your area."

So we spoke with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

"It's a scam, it's definitely a scam," said U.S. Postal Inspection Service Spokesperson Donna Harris.

Harris says mystery shopper and work-from-home scams are all to common.

Here's how they work:

The company sends you a check to deposit into your bank account.

They tell you to withdrawal the funds to use to buy items or money orders at specific stores. 

Then they tell you to send the remaining amount or the items purchased to a specified address.

"It's usually counterfeited and when it goes to try and clear it's going to come back to the person that deposited it," she said.

So never deposit money into your account from someone you don't know.

If the "employer" stresses having a bank account, stay away! And do your research. Parchman says now she will be much more careful.

"No, won't do that again," she said.

We also emailed the person who contacted Parchman. The email we got back was the same job offer that she received.

If you believe you are a victim of this type of scam, contact the postal inspectors.

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