Make us your home page

Scammers send money orders to job hunters

An Overland Park, Kan., woman had been job hunting for months, hearing she was overqualified for every position. Then she saw an interesting job possibility on Craigslist. • A business owner who traveled frequently needed someone to manage his operations. Perfect, she thought, and she sent her resume and cover letter.

Almost immediately, a response came back. He was interested but was out of the country. She responded with a few questions about the job.

His response didn't answer her questions but asked if she had gift ideas for his 15-year-old daughter.

She replied. But the response didn't acknowledge that effort or answer her job questions.

Then she received two $850 money orders, mailed to her home with instructions to cash them at her bank, keep $500 for her salary and send the rest on to a specified destination.

Her scam radar fully in gear then, she called the MoneyGram issuer and asked about the serial numbers on the money orders.

They were counterfeit.

"I called the police and learned that it's a very common scam," she said. "There's a new wave of unscrupulous people getting their claws into people who are looking for work.

"I felt violated. Embarrassed. Worried. The fraud artists have my name, my address."

When you find job listings online, raise your scam antenna high.

Most postings will be legitimate, but there are crooks who prey on job hunters.

On Craigslist's home page, a link has warnings for buyers, sellers and job searchers.

"Fake cashier checks and money orders are common, and banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake is discovered," the site says.

"Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service — anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer," the site warns.

"Never give out financial information (bank account number, Social Security number, etc.). … Do not submit to credit or background checks for a job … until you have met the interviewer … in person."

Good advice. Heed it early.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star.

Scammers send money orders to job hunters 02/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 27, 2011 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA


    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  2. Richard Corcoran takes aim at public financing of campaigns

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, may not be running for governor — not yet anyway — but his latest idea will get the attention of those who are.

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R- Land O’ Lakes, is proposing an end to public financing of campaigns. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  4. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
  5. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force


    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]