Avoiding work at home scams

We don’t usually write about issues surrounding paying for the attachment parenting lifestyle or career choices, work at home options, etc., but I was reading an article at SF Gate about the dangers of leaving your resume online and it dawned on me that one of the scams they mention might well be something that well-meaning AP parents might fall into.
At this point, we’re all familiar with the fact that bad guys are constantly trying to rip off credit card data or personal identity data so that they can apply for credit cards under assumed identities, but since many of these criminals are in Eastern Europe, I’ve never really figured out how they’d use the credit cards.

The article explains exactly how, though. Foreign nationals from countries like the Ukraine and Belarus recruit people to be remailers, U.S.-based folk who receive packages indented for others then remail them to the indented recipient overseas.
Ostensibly, these remailers get all their shipping costs reimbursed and get an additional bonus or stipend for doing all the shipping tasks.
Surprise, though, it’s a scam. In fact, that’s exactly how these overseas criminals utilize the illegal credit cards: they order lots of easily resold items (jeans, sneakers, computer gear), have them shipped to an innocent remailer’s house, then string the remailer along, promising payment “tomorrow” or “next week”. Eventually, the remailer says they won’t do it until they’re paid and the criminal just moves to the next person.
And, of course, along the way the overseas person probably asks the remailer for their social security number and specific identity information so they can ostensibly file papers with the IRS. But, adding insult to injury, they just steal the remailer’s identity and apply for yet more credit cards once the remailer bails on the scam.
So. If your approach to the time commitment of attachment parenting is to seek work at home opportunities, please, please be careful out there. An ounce of skepticism is worth fifty pounds of remediating and recovery.

5 comments on “Avoiding work at home scams

  1. Grrr.
    We need a resource that has already weeded out the scams, and gives us at-home parents actual choices in making actual dollars while at home.
    There probably is a book or something (I just can’t trust anything on the net with this), so I suppose I could go looking for it. I think I’ll give that a try.

  2. Hello.
    I’ve been looking for work. And, so far I have not found anything that seems ligit. Most of the “jobs” are “home based businesses” and I am not a sales person, so that is simply a NO.
    My youngest has three more years before she goes to the charter school near our home, and well it would be nice to do something to earn a few dollars, but my husband and I have this commitment to our children, and we want to raise them ourselves.
    UGHHH. I guess it goes back to the you can’t have your cake….

  3. It really makes me mad how many scams there are. Several of my friends have been taken in by everything from medical billing to envelope stuffing. The best anyone can do is post a list of red flags so that other moms can at least know if there is something obvious wrong with an opportunity.

  4. Thanks for the explanation. I received an email looking for a “remailer”. And the presentation was very professional looking. But I figured there must be something wrong with it — other than the fact that they had spammed me, which I have a policy of NEVER responding to spam.
    But I am glad to have the explanation, because at the time, I just did not see what their angle was, it almost sounded legitimate. I can see how people can be fooled by this.

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