There's no sugar-coating how tough things have been for most people over the last year, especially when we're talking about finding a job. With record-high unemployment comes desperation, and desperation brings out the scam artists.

Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), joins the WROK Morning Show twice monthly with the latest in consumer news, tips, and ways for you to avoid being ripped off by scammers. Tuesday morning, Dennis called in with information on a nasty work-at-home scam that has cost plenty of people money at a difficult time when all they wanted was some work and a chance to make some money for themselves and their families.

The scam that Dennis filled us in on is being run by a company called Sinoway Operations USA, LLC. The Better Business Bureau says that the company contacts people by email with a work-from-home job opportunity of repacking and shipping packages. After a quick phone interview and job offer, the new hires are asked to supply their banking information, including a w-4, to set up direct deposit. The job is said to pay $2,000 plus $40 for each mailed package, on the 30th day of employment.

Dennis Horton, Rockford BBB:

None of the consumers received the promised payment for completed work at the end of their first month of employment. One complainant stated her unpaid work totaled $2,560.00. Instead, the company stopped returning calls and emails and locked them out of the dashboard for shipping labels.

During our interview Tuesday morning, Dennis offered up some great tips on avoiding this scam, and he also had details on a tax-time scam that is targeting college students and their families.

If you want to be up-to-speed on the latest cons and the tactics being used, listen in:



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