The Sierra Vista Police Department has recently taken several reports regarding a new scam. Innocent citizens looking to supplement their incomes have answered ads on Craigslist for “Package Sorter, Regional Courier, and Logistics.”
How the scam works is criminals illegally obtain credit card numbers and start making purchases online. The criminal places an ad online for someone to receive the packages and “inspect” the contents to make sure it contains the correct merchandise. The citizen contacts the “employer” by email expressing interest in the job and is sent a contract with the job description. The contract lends legitimacy to the job and appears to be professional enough to convince the citizen the job is real. This is all done online, and the citizen never has any personal contact with the “employer.”
Once the citizen is “hired,” he or she starts receiving packages. The citizen then “inspects” the packages, applies a new address label, and sends the package out. Often times the packages are sent overseas. The unsuspecting citizen is supposed to be paid either a salary or on a per-package basis but they never receive payment.
By sending the packages to a third party and having a new address put on the package, the criminal has successfully laundered the merchandise and removed themselves from the process.
The Sierra Vista Police Department advises citizens to use extreme caution when conducting business online. Prior to accepting an online job, do research on its legitimacy. Contacting local law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau are ways to prevent being taken advantage of.