Work-at-home scams are disguised as legitimate home employment opportunities. They entice innocent victims into fraudulent schemes.
How Work-at-Home Scams Operate
Scammers recruit unsuspecting job seekers with fake employment ads.
After responding to the ad, the victims are often instructed to accept payments from clients, keep a portion as their salary, and transfer the remainder to an account established by the company.
The scammers are often organized crime groups, and the money involved has actually been stolen by phishing and identity theft.
The victims are called "mules" because they unwittingly transfer illegal funds.
Involvement in work-at-home scams like these could leave you in serious legal trouble.
A Step-by-Step Example of a Work-at-Home Scam
Work-at-Home. Process payments and make money in your spare time!
John is looking for part-time employment to make extra money for the holiday gift-giving season:
- John sees a work-at-home ad on an employment website, online chat or spam email. He submits his resume.
- Scammer contacts John through email or online chat. Offers him a job at Fake-International-Company.com processing payments from US clients.
- John accepts the job. He signs "employment contracts" and provides account information where the company's clients can send payments.
- "Payments," which are actually funds acquired through phishing and other fraud activity, are transferred to John's account.
- As instructed, John keeps a percentage of the payments as his compensation. He wires the remaining balance to Fake-International-Company's overseas account.
- Scammer receives stolen cash and the paper trail leads back to John, who has unwittingly acted as a money mule in this fraud scheme.