Many people looking for better jobs turn to the Internet for help. But a Hancock County woman says what she thought was a job offer on a popular job placement web site, was actually a scam.
Catherine McClendon says she was a little leery about the job. But because she'd seen the posting on Careerbuilder.com, she went ahead and emailed her personal information anyway. Now she says it was a big mistake she doesn't want others to repeat.
McClendon says she was online September 7th when she spotted a position that intrigued her. She says Raw Shoe Incorporated posted a job as a company rep in Saucier.
"I applied and they sent me an email back wanting to know my first and last name, my address, my date of birth, driver's license number, phone number and I sent it all in to them," she said.
A week later she says she got another email saying she'd been hired, even though she'd never spoken to anyone from Raw Shoe.
She said, "I got another email from them saying I was going to be receiving a payment coming UPS and I was to keep 10 percent for myself and send them the 90 percent, minus wiring fees."
McClendon says she got suspicious when she got paid, but hadn't done any work. She says the check was also dated September 7th, the same day she'd applied and before she'd been notified of her hire.
"When I received the check, it looked fake," said McClendon. "I was talking to my cousin on the phone about it and she said, 'You need to check this out before you do anything else.' I called the bank to verify the check and they said it was a counterfeit check."
McClendon called the phone number on the check envelope, but the line was disconnected. She says she also tried to find the company through the shipping tracking number, but that was another dead end.
McClendon says although she didn't lose any money, she's vulnerable.
"I got a phone call yesterday from a credit card saying somebody tried to apply for a credit card in my name. It was not approved because my credit has been flagged, but somebody has tried to apply for one."
She said, "I'd actually seen it on 20/20 and different programs before and I thought to myself, 'I'll never get taken like that.' Well, never say never."
A State Attorney General spokesperson says the office gets several dozen complaints each week about this kind of problem.
Careerbuilder.com has a section that warns users about possible fraud. It says while Career Builder has several screening processes, not all employer listings are screened. The company says job seekers use the site at their own risk and should be careful with their personal information.