First, the international scammer hacked a business account and used it to buy a computer.
Then, he put up an ad, offering a “job opportunity” online to somebody who could pick up that computer in Laconia, New Hampshire, and ship it overseas.
Sounded good to Jennifer Wozmak. According to WMUR News, the New Hampshire woman answered the ad. Then, she did, in fact, pick up the fraudulently purchased laptop, promising to send it along.
The laptop would never make it, though – Wozmak sent a stack of old magazines in its place. She eventually turned herself in, telling police that she sold the computer and kept the money.
Now, having allegedly scammed the scammers, she’s facing charges.
WMUR quoted Wolfeboro, NH Police Chief Dean Rondeau, who said that this scenario happens a lot. People should stay away from these come-ons, he said:
What they want you to do is essentially be a straw man in a scam. They may wave money to pick up an item and move it to another location. Don’t do it.
The long and short of it is if you have any questions and you think something might not be legitimate, pick up your phone and call your local police department and ask to talk to an officer and he will help you work through that, there is no harm in that.
The chief didn’t have any advice for the scammer who got scammed, however. Perhaps “Nyah, nyah, nyah” would suffice?
Bear in mind that mule job offers like this are only one of a dizzying array of work-at-home job scams. Since the Better Business Bureau’s 2015 launch of its BBB Scam Tracker, more than 5,000 employment scams have been reported in the US and Canada.
To avoid getting caught in one of these scams – and to avoid the temptation to scam-’em-right-back and thus get yourself into a world of trouble like Wozmak’s facing – check out the Penny Hoarder for tips from the BBB on how to spot work-from-home scams.