NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's Consumer Fraud Protection week which is a coordinated campaign between federal, state, and local agencies designed to focus on the importance of keeping consumers informed about the latest ways criminals are conning the public.
From vaccine scams to government imposters, cybercrime is on the rise because we are online so much more.
One of the newest tricks targets job seekers, with unemployment so high everyone is looking for opportunity, including criminals. Don't turn yourself into a money mule.
Students are always easy targets along with people on dating websites but right now, it is people looking for work from home jobs who are being lured.
Here how it works. You receive an unsolicited email or a social media message that promises easy money for little or no effort.
You're asked to open a bank account in your name or in the name of the company for you to receive and transfer money.
As an employee you're asked to receive the funds in your bank account then process or transfer the funds out via wire transfer or mail or other streams to one or more people you don't know.
You're told to keep a portion of the money for a commission or a salary. The problem is many times the check you got bounces and that leaves you on the hook for any funds that you sent out.
The big takeaway is don't accept a job that asks you to transfer money. They may tell you to send money to a "client" or "supplier." Say no. You may be helping a scammer move stolen money.
Never send money to collect a prize. That's always a scam, often they say you have to pay a tax, delivery, or shipping.
Don't send money back to anyone who's sent you money, a secret shopper or a new boss. No legit job asks for you, the employee, to do this!
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