Fake work-at-home ads use names of hotels

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Forget the door to door scammers or the scams that come through your mail. This one involves job opportunities you find online and it's fooling those who thought they would never get fooled.

"These guys are very good, they know right now there's a tremendous need...hours are cut back, people have lost jobs," said Tom Gallagher of the Better Business Bureau.

Check out the jobs page of online travel guide. "hotelplanner.com" and the first thing you see is a fraud alert. It warns job seekers of a new scam from people posing to be employees of the company offering work-from-home-jobs. Open a bank account and send personal information and the fake company will send you documents that seem almost real.

"Scores of people in central VA - in the Richmond area who've lost big money, thousands of dollars to these things, and these are sharp folks," said Gallagher.

You can help yourself by doing a little bit of online research. A general search for home-based jobs will reveal millions, a number of them potentially fake. Under hospitality scammers will use well known names like Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt to lure you in. It'll say you can earn big bucks and work from home.

"A mother or father, they may have kids, somebody's gotta stay home with those kids, you can't afford child care, maybe you need the freedom to work out of your house, you're in between jobs," said Gallagher.

Our expert says in weak economic times, even the most cautious can become vulnerable.

"Home based businesses have really taken off. We have one in my family it's just a great thing. But if they want you to do this stuff, they're coming to you to set up a home based business it's gonna cost you money," he said.

If you think you're in trouble or just want to double check a posting contact the Better Business Bureau or even the police.

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