Ask Andy: Stolen shipments

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Anissa Brown went online to find work, but instead, she found a work from home scam.

"I've been looking for a job since April.  I got laid off," Brown said.  "The freight forwarding, where I get a package and they send me another label and I send it to somebody else and it's merchandise."

Police said it was stolen merchandise.  The criminals used job advertisements like the one Brown saw to recruit people to reship the goods.

"They said the next package would be Xboxes and maybe digital cameras and real merchandise," Brown said.

Brown spoke to who she thought was a potential employer, but after getting the contract promising $350 a week, she got suspicious.

"I called the Better Business Bureau because I was having little thoughts in my head," Brown said.

The Better Business Bureau told her it was all a scam that could potentially get her into trouble with the law.

"If this is a stolen goods kind of thing where people are actually forwarding on stolen goods and not knowing it, they could be charged at a later date as an offense," said Kevin Hinterberger with the Better Business Bureau.

The scammers know how to get potential victims sucked in.  The job Brown applied for listed the name of a Better Business Bureau-accredited company.

"They're getting much more savvy in their deception," Hinterberger said.  "They actually stole the identity of a legitimate company in Columbus, Ohio."

Brown said it is important to ask questions, especially when you're desperate for a job.

"You need to really, really investigate it like I did before you get yourself in trouble," Brown said.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.