Live 5 Scambusters: Spotting a fake job scam

VIDEO: Live 5 Scambusters: Spotting a fake job scam

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you’re hunting for a new job, be aware of scam artists posing as employers with enticing job offers. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

While hunting for an extra side job, Ashley Bellinger applied for dozens of positions online. She found jobs on several websites and was eventually contacted a personal assistant job.

Bellinger received an email from a woman named Tiffany Hales. She claimed to be a retired real estate attorney and entrepreneur from the Walterboro area. Hales was looking for someone to handle various tasks such as running errands, scheduling flights, and monitoring financial activities. The hours were flexible, the job paid $750 per week, and included health benefits and a 401(k) program.

The initial email from Hales also requested some personal information, but Bellinger said she did not give her social security number. Despite leaving that information out, Bellinger received another email congratulating her on being hired. This was an immediate red flag.

“If I’m not giving you my social security number then why would you trust me with almost $2,500?” Bellinger said.

After a couple of weeks, Bellinger got a package in the mail from Tacoma, Washington. The package included a check from a company based in Georgia, issued though a bank in Santa Clara, California.

Hales told Bellinger to deposit the check and wait for instructions. Bellinger was skeptical about the legitimacy of the check and asked an accountant to take a look. Before she would deposit the check, she also wanted the bank to verify it.

“They didn’t do verifications and said the safest thing would be to put it on a seven to 10 day business hold,” Bellinger said. “When I contacted that lady to let her know what was going on, I got no response. None at all.”

Tiffany Hales was gone.

Bellinger never deposited the check but still has it as a reminder.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.

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