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BBB: Biggest new scam enlists jobless people to ship goods, unaware they are stolen

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Posted at 9:42 AM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 09:42:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Sixty-five percent of people reporting employment scams in 2020 are getting bogus offers to work as “warehouse distribution coordinator” or something similar. They sign up to reship packages, unaware they are shipping stolen goods and never being paid for their efforts.

So says the results of a new study the Better Business Bureau undertook earlier this year.

The BBB already new that employment scams were the #1 riskiest cams in 2018 and 2019, but with the nation’s response to the pandemic putting millions of Americans out of work, a new study was initiated. The group talked to people who reported scams to its BBB Scam Tracker:

  • 53% of people who were targeted by employment scams were already unemployed.
  • 65% reported the job offered was warehouse distribution coordinator” or a title similar to it, which involved receiving goods and reshipping them. Often, the goods were stolen.
  • Scammers claimed to be from well-known companies such as Amazon and Walmart.
  • Younger people (students and age 25-34) were more likely to be victimized, but older people (45-54 and 65+) lost the most money.
  • Military spouses and veterans were more likely to fall victim to the scams and tended to lose more money.

Some victims lost money. Others were never paid. Some suffered from identity theft.

“Employment scams tend to target people who can least-afford to lose money,” said Phil Catlett, president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michiganin a release.

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