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Md. attorney general issues warning about job-seeking scam

August 20, 2005|By Gregory T. Simmons

If you're looking for a job, you could be the target of a scam, according to a release from Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.'s office.

The attorney general's office said a scam under investigation in Arkansas worked like this:

A job seeker posted a resume online and received an e-mail from "Void Computers Inc." The e-mail explained it needed help cashing checks.

Checks were mailed to the job seekers from Turkey, and the instructions were to cash the checks and wire the money to Latvia. It turned out the checks were forged.

The job-seeking scam described by the attorney general's office involves a number of similarities to other scams recently reported to be going on in the Hagerstown area.

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Local officials said in those instances, scam artists have attempted, sometimes successfully, to contact residents by U.S. mail, phone, e-mail and Internet chat rooms.

The scam artists have posed as bank officials, Internet-based salesmen, foreign lottery officials and foreign travelers, all in attempts to generally get unsuspecting victims to pass off forged checks or money orders, get cash and wire it to a foreign location.

Often, the victims can stand to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars because they will unknowingly deposit the forged check into their personal bank accounts - which the bank might initially allow, but will not honor - and then draw on their accounts to wire the money.

Other local problems have included scam artists playing out scenarios in which the victims give out personal information such as Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names and bank account numbers, which can be used in identity theft operations.

Bank officials said they will never call customers to confirm their account numbers or other personal information.

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