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Employment Seekers: Beware of Reshipping Jobs

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Business Consumer Alliance advises job seekers to beware of job recruiters offering reshipping jobs. These types of jobs are often scams that not only fail to pay, but they put personal information in the hands of criminals and use innocent individuals to move stolen goods. Let’s take a look at a recent example of this type of scam and identify some warning signs.

East Shipping, also operating as East Logistics USA LLC, HRS Shipping, and HRS Logistics emails jobs offering to pay over $3,000 per week. After conducting virtual interviews, the recruiters "hire" individuals to receive packages, review the contents, relabel and reship packages through UPS. The employees are required to supply their personal and banking information in order to get paid after their 30-day probation. Unfortunately, when payday comes up, no one receives payment. Workers are no longer able to communication with the company and can't log in to the worksite.

The crooks behind the scheme are oftentimes located out of the country or overseas, which makes tracking them down and prosecuting them difficult. They make their operation look legitimate by conducting phone or online interviews, providing employment contracts, tax forms, collecting information for direct deposit, and providing a web-based format to log in shipments received and shipped. They set up official looking websites and may even advertise membership with well known organizations. These elaborate steps are taken in order to fool individuals into believing their offer is legitimate. Unfortunately, their offer is bogus and the unfortunate individuals that respond are in for a rude awakening. Even worse, they may become part of an international theft ring.

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These types of schemes are referred to as reshipping or parcel mule scams. The mules are the “employees” who are reshipping merchandise to other people involved in the scam. The criminals use stolen credit card or banking information to buy high-dollar merchandise such as electronics, jewelry, expensive apparel, etc. They then have the items sent to the name and home address of the re-shipper.

The worker may even get paid for reshipping the products, but payment is often made from fraudulent accounts which frequently are shut down, or checks sent as payment are counterfeit. Some have even received deposits to their accounts for far more than the agreed upon salary and then instructed by the scammers to forward the overpayment by wire transfer to someone else, usually a person in another country.

While these job offers may seem like a dream, you could be opening yourself to a nightmare, including being held criminally liable for your part in the scheme. When the authorities follow the trail, they are often led to the worker, the easiest part of the chain to track down, instead of the true culprit. Any money received will be recovered as they are the proceeds of fraud and “employees” may be responsible for paying back the cost of the stolen goods. Furthermore, any shipping costs paid out-of-pocket for postage or supplies--with the hope of being reimbursed--will never be recovered. In addition, responders are at risk of becoming victims of identity theft by supplying their information to the perpetrators when they apply for the fraudulent job offer.

BCA offers the following tips:

  • Be cautious about any unsolicited offers or opportunities offering you the chance to make easy money, especially offers from people or companies overseas, as it is harder for you to find out if they really are who they say they are.
  • Take steps to verify any company that makes you a job offer and check their contact details (address, phone number, email address, and website). Start by contacting BCA to inquire about the business.
  • Never give your bank details or personal information to anyone unless you know and trust them.
  • Be cautious of high-paying job opportunities requiring little to no experience or skills.
  • File a complaint if you believe you've encountered a job scam. Make sure to warn others so they don't become victims.
  • Immediately change your banking information, monitor your accounts, and check your credit report closely for any fraudulent activity.

If you see an opportunity to make some easy money and the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Take steps to avoid being schemed by checking with BCA when you are considering any offer. The information is free and may save you from becoming a scammer’s next victim. Follow BCA on Facebook to stay updated on scam alerts, consumer tips, and trending industry topics. Don’t forget to share this with others.

About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.