Police warn of employment scamPublished 11:10pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, Troy Police Lt. Bryan Weed warned this week. His words of caution related to an employment scam that has made its way to Troy.
According to police, a local woman answered a newspaper ad looking for part-time clerical help at a company called Keegan’s Linkahead. Being detail oriented was a must, according to the ad, which asked for applicants to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their interest.
When the local woman emailed, the job opportunity wasn’t what she expected, police said. The “company” wanted the applicant to accept a check for an undisclosed amount of money, deposit it in her account, send a money order or cashier’s check to another account and even purchase a few items for the company. The money left over would be her paycheck.
After discussing the job with her husband, police said the woman wrote the company again, letting them know she wouldn’t be able to proceed with the job they wanted her to do. In response, she received a threatening email telling her that the company had already sent the check and she would have to complete the first deposit schedule before declining future jobs. The woman told the company she would send the check back when she received it and a company representative notified her they would be getting the Federal Bureau of Investigations involved.
“That’s a practice for a lot of these scammers,” Weed said. “They try to intimidate people. The FBI is not going to be calling and the Department of Homeland Security isn’t going to show up at your door.”
A Troy Police detective is gathering information about this case on a local level, including credit card information the fake company used to pay for the newspaper advertisement. That information will then be passed to federal investigators who have jurisdiction over the matter that is likely multi-state.
While there are ever-changing scams such as this one lurking in many avenues people search for employment, Weed said there are a few preventative measures one can take to keep from being a victim.
“Any time someone starts talking to you about multiple accounts and sending money back and forth, it’s not a legitimate offer,” Weed said. “That’s just not how normal business is conducted. Any time that happens, call the police and let us know.”
Weed said, any payment received from a company should come after work is performed. If money is sent to an employee, it should be theirs to keep. No portion should have to be returned.
“You have to listen to that voice in your head,” Weed said. “Generally, these scams are just trying to take advantage of people.”
If you have experience with this company, this scam, or any other potential scam, call the Troy Police Department at 566-0500.