(Woodland, CA) - May 14, 2014 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning citizens to be alert for offers of employment that turn out to be scams. In one recent case, a Winters’ man was victimized and lost $3,500 after using Craigslist to find a driving job. The victim never actually met with the employer and only communicated using text messaging. The victim’s new “employer” sent him two paychecks as an advance and told the victim to deposit the checks, keep a portion for himself, and wire the remainder across the county. By the time the victim learned that the checks were fraudulent, the wire transfer had already gone through leaving the victim responsible for the loss.
A second report involved a citizen receiving a United States Postal Service Priority Mail package containing an offer to be a “Mystery Shopper.” Included in the package were job duties and instructions to deposit the enclosed cashiers check, take out wages and then wire the remaining funds to the person posing as the employer. This victim also was left responsible for the loss after he realized the checks were fake.
Scam artists use clever schemes to defraud vulnerable victims. In these examples, many of the victims are desperately seeking employment. The scammers use telephones, mail, the internet and wire services to cross geographic boundaries and trick unsuspecting victims. You can protect yourself by learning to recognize “red flags” of fraudulent activity like being paid up front for work that you have not completed or being asked to wire money to someone you have never met.
The District Attorney's Office reminds those seeking employment that they should be very cautious when asked to cash checks or wire money for any reason. We suggest you thoroughly check out any company offering you employment and get everything in writing. For more information on how to keep safe and avoid being scammed, please contact Enforcement Officer Derek Sorriano at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office, (530) 406-4503.