Troubleshooter: Job costs woman money

July 19, 2010 5:32:04 PM PDT
An unemployed Durham woman says a new job has cost her more than $3,000.Alison Finley says she found an ad on Craigslist for an administrative assistant and thought it would be a good fit for her.

"It just said administrative assistant and I had previous administrative work with the local hockey association," she said.

Through e-mails, the employer explained Finley's duties which included bill payment, printing and faxing letters, cash management, among other tasks.

Finley could do it all from her home, and she would be paid $500 a week. Her first assignment came in the mail. It was a check for $3,800.

"Take my $500 in pay and use the other money for supplies, scanner, laminated, and the rest send to her other person who manages her properties," Finley said.

After depositing the check in her bank, Finley waited 24 hours, kept $500 for herself and then followed the instructions by wiring the rest to Dubai.

"I just assumed everything was legit, sat in account for 24 hours next day with drew the money and wired it to who they told me to," Finley said.

About a week later, Finley got the bad news. The check was no good and now she owes her bank, the $3,800. Money, she says, she doesn't have.

"It's hurt us financially and I'm really skeptical for looking for jobs," Finley said. "I was taken advantage of and I was legitimately looking for a job. I never thought it would happen to me, and I fell for it and now I have to pay for it."

Craigslist does have warnings about scams when users go to the job listing page.

ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team Troubleshooter Diane Wilson says the biggest red flag in all of these cases is when someone sends you a check in the mail and wants you to deposit the money in your account and then wire to somewhere, typically out of the country.

Anytime you get an offer like that, Wilson says just walk away.

And these job posting aren't just on the internet, another viewer told ABC11 Eyewitness News that she found the exact ad in the local newspaper.

The viewer responded to the ad, but when they sent her the check, she knew something was up, and ended it all right there, so she did lose any money.

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