ERLANGER, Ky. — Many people are looking for work-from-home jobs these days, in many cases because they don't want to go back to a crowded work space during the continuing pandemic.
But the Better Business Bureau is warning about a slick shipping scam that won't pay as it promises and could even get you into trouble with the law.
Dominique Garrett lost her job earlier this year, so she started looking for work-from-home opportunities.
During her job hunting on Indeed.com, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn, she spotted a shipping company that claimed it was based in Northern Kentucky.
"They were just looking for a quality inspector who could check packages at their home," she said.
The pay was good, so she agreed to take the position.
Inspector job not what it was advertised to be
But it was strange. The company was not really looking for "inspections." Instead, it started sending her small boxes to repack and mail out with mailing labels they provided.
In some cases, the boxes contained gold coins. In others, she did not know what she was re-shipping.
So she sent out a few until one made her stop in her tracks.
"There was a particular package that raised my suspicion," she said. "It was for bullets, and I said, 'Wait, hold on, that is not what I agreed to.'"
She refused it. The company immediately canceled her login and never paid her for several weeks of work.
The Better Business Bureau says this is the re-shipping scam and is issuing a nationwide alert.
It says the company offering the job changes frequently, but in every case:
- You receive packages in the mail.
- You unpack them, removing all evidence of where they came from.
- You then repackage them and mail them out from your home, with your return address on them.
You could be fencing stolen items
Sara Kemerer of the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau said the work is suspicious and possibly illegal.
"Especially when you are shipping packages across state lines, and even countries, that should be an immediate red flag that something is not right," she said. "You don't know what you are sending. It could be illegal products, money, stolen goods."
Not getting paid for the work is just one problem. You could also be participating in a criminal operation, the BBB says.
"This might be what actually happened to me," Garrett said.
As for the Kentucky-based shipping company, the BBB has put an alert on its BBB review page, saying it can find no evidence that it exists.
We were unable to reach anyone at the phone number it provided.
Garrett, meanwhile, says she never got paid for the few boxes she did ship and has no way to reach her "managers," because they disconnected her account.
So be careful with any offers for shipping jobs, and don't waste your money.
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