12 On Your Side: Student tartgeted by online job scam, outsmarts the con artists

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / July 11, 2014

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Sarah Pencille said she gave up one job to find another that would fit her grueling schedule as a medical student.

"The hours they needed me for, and what I needed for me just didn't work out," Pencille said.

With her experience, she figured it would not take long to find something better. So, when she saw an ad for a job paying $33 an hour for a part-time certified nursing assistant, it did not add up.

She applied anyway.

A few e-mails back and forth to the person also didn't seem to ad up.

When she received a check the next day, she smelled a scam and called 12 On Your Side. We took the ad to a local employment expert.

Isaac Kelly said he has seen his share of job descriptions. We let him take a look at this one for himself.

"You have a very minimal skills set requirement with a very high pay rate," said Kelly.

He said he has never seen a CNA position paying even close to $33 an hour. A second red flag was not much in the way of a job description. The ad does not even list what skills are required for the job.

"I was always taught that there's no such thing as a free lunch," Pencille said.

No free lunch was Pencille's hunch that served her well.

She is hoping to help others like her. People looking hard for a job, to know there are scammers working even harder to find you.

"There's just a lot of that happening in the world today. Too many people just not being decent," Pencille said.

Here is how the check scam or advanced fee scam works: Lets say you deposit the check. The bank may cash part of it, depending on how much money you already have in your account.

Meanwhile, the scammers tell you to wire some of what you cashed to cover some job fee or application fee. Meanwhile, the bank then tells you a few days later the check you deposited was returned no good. By that time, you have already wired the scammer the money they wanted.

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