Internet scam preys on job seekers - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Internet scam preys on job seekers

By Al Pefley bioemail

BOYNTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A new scam is targeting some of the most vulnerable: People desperately looking for work.

It's no secret that there are lots of Internet scams. But, now, it seems there's a new one out there. And, if you're out of work, be careful because you could be the next victim.

Frances Duran of Boynton Beach has been on the Internet a lot in the past couple of weeks. She was laid off recently from her accounts payable job at a manufacturing firm. 

She says she's sent out 300 to 400 resumes, and she's sent job applications all over the country.

When she got an e-mail response back from Ashley Furniture about a job opening, her eyes lit up and thought her prayers had been answered. "I started reading; I got excited, set up an interview," she said.

But Frances quickly realized there was something fishy about the e-mail from someone claiming to be Ashley Furniture. They wanted her age, bank account information, and they wanted to know if she had a home equity line of credit. "I said, 'Oh my God, they're asking for my bank account to apply for a job!"

So, she got in touch with the real Ashley Furniture Company, and they told her this was nothing more than an Internet scam. A scam preying on job seekers like Frances who are looking for work. She's delighted she didn't fall for it, but she worries some people out there might.

"I think it's horrible, in this economy when people are struggling and looking for work, decent people looking for decent work, you have people trying to scam you and take whatever you have left," Frances said.

She knows it could've been a disaster if she had given them her bank account info and wants to warn others.  "Oh they could've taken my money or stolen my identity and wiped me out completely!" Frances said.

Ashley Furniture says this is a Nigerian Internet scam, and they're aware of it.

They say, however, it's difficult to track down the culprits because whoever is sending out these bogus e-mails keeps changing their e-mail address. If you get something like this, Ashley Furniture says ignore it.

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