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BBB reports employment scams are the greatest risk to consumers

Posted at 10:55 AM, Oct 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-11 12:55:36-04

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DENVER — The Better Business Bureau of Greater Denver and Central Colorado is warning job-seekers that employment scams pose the greatest risk to North American consumers.

“What’s unfortunate is that they actually come in a bunch of different forms. So often, people who fall for employment scams don’t really recognize that it’s a traditional employment scam,” said Ezra Smith, investigations coordinator for BBB Greater Denver and Central Colorado.

Coopermith said the BBB scam tracker has uncovered multiple scams, but there are three kinds of employment scams consumers report often.

The first is the check over-payment scam which is involves an "employer" overpaying an employee for work completed. The employer then asks for the over-payment back in cash.

“What happens is, down the road when that check bounces the consumer who put it into their bank account is out all of that money," Coopersmith said.

Coopersmith said victims can lose thousands of dollars with the check scam.

The second employment scam to beware of is the "work from home reshipping scam."

“What they’re doing is receiving packages and then reshipping them. And they think that they’re basically working with this company and helping them move their merchandise…in reality with that sort of a scam, what they’re doing is receiving and then sending off goods that were purchased with stolen credit cards,” Coopersmith said.

Coopersmith said the reshipping scam is scary because of the criminal elements.

“Generally the victims of those scams are treated as victims, but at the same time they are technically breaking the law because they’re helping a criminal organization,” Coopersmith said.

Coopersmith said the BBB has issued warnings for Berry & Mayers, LLC and Central Inspection, LLC for Colorado after consumers repeatedly reported the companies for perpetuating this scheme.

Coopersmith said the third scam is the classic pyramid scheme, not to be confused with multi-level marketing companies.

“Multi-level marketing companies are getting a lot of traction especially on social media. They are legal. But in a pyramid scheme the business is more of a front and the way that people make the majority of their money is by signing people up down line,” Coopersmith said.

Coopersmith said victims of these employment scams should report them right away.

“In addition to giving up your money with employment you’re giving all the information that you would give an employer.”

That includes: Social security numbers and banking information, which can all be sold on the black market.