MEMPHIS, Tenn.–A Memphis woman hopes to warn others about a fake check scam after she was frauded out of thousands of dollars over a job that never even existed.
The 64-year-old woman we talked to, who does not want to be identified, said she recently started scouring the internet looking and applying for various jobs where she could work from home.
“I’m sad. I’m sad and I’m hurt and I’m angry. You know that I allowed myself to be a victim of a scam,” she said.
She’s retired and living on a fixed income, but with the recent rise in prices of gas and groceries, she wanted to make a little extra money.
A man reached out to her saying he represented a company that actually exists. She went through the interview process online. He said he would send her a check for several thousand dollars and when the check arrived it looked legit.
“It all sounded so good you know? But I’m at a point now where if things sound too good to be true you know 9 times out of 10 they’re not true,” the woman said.
The man said he needed her to send $3,000 back in Visa gift cards so they could start processing the equipment needed for the job. The victim sent him what he asked for but quickly realized the checks she originally received weren’t real.
She’s now out $3,000 and says the scammer admitted to his crime, even trying to con his way out of things.
“He said ‘I have fallen in love with you and I don’t want to lie to you anymore. And I’m like ‘what is wrong with this man?’ He sounds like he’s crazy, you know he’s sick in the head,” the woman said.
It’s called the employment fake check scam. Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said while these scams have been around a while, he’s seen an increase in the last 18 months.
“Anybody can fall for it. It’s a really nasty scam,” Irwin said.
Locally, his office has received 149 reports with losses totaling $116,000, and nationally more than 6,000 reports totaling more than $3 million in losses.
“As long as there’s inflation I think this is one people need to be aware of,” Irwin said. “No legitimate business is going to send you a check and tell you to send them back money.”
The BBB said always make sure you do your research and be very careful with how you share your personal information. Also, if a company claims they want to hire you without ever speaking directly to you, that could be a red flag.