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Rip-Off Alert: Work-from-home job offers could lead to serious trouble

“Are you sick of your job?” “Want to be your own boss?” The next time you consider pitches like those, do your homework before you agree to anything.

In this case, one work-at-home scam ended with possible federal charges for the victim.

Rodney Meaux received a job offer after posting his resume online. The company emailed him with a description of the job, and he quickly accepted. After all, it seemed simple.

“They were going to furnish me the names and files, and the checks in a file,” Meaux said. “And all I had to do is get the envelopes, stuff them – they were prepaid – and I mail them.”

He spent about $275 on printing supplies.

As he prepared his second batch of checks to send, he got a knock at the door from a U.S. postal inspector. Turns out, the checks and postage he was using were fake. He was scared.

“If I had known then what I know now, I would never have taken that job,” he said.

Louisiana postal inspectors say the ads offering work-from-home jobs always need a skeptical eye. Consumers need to question and look for red flags such as spelling, grammar or printing errors.

“Normally, they will put the addressee name twice before they put the address,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Stephanie Houston. “That is one of the red flags that we’ve discovered on those pre-printed labels that are normally given out to consumers when they are part with a scam like this.

“Say no to anything you get that you don’t know who it is coming from – end of story,” Meaux said.

Postal inspectors want to emphasize that if the potential employer you are talking to online won’t meet in person or speak to you on the telephone, that could be an indication of fraud.

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