INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A woman searching for jobs online wants other people to be aware after she nearly fell for a scam.
Dee Emerson has spent many hours looking for jobs and last week, she got an offer she thought she couldn't refuse. It came from someone claiming to be with Jackson Health System in Miami, for a data entry/customer service work from home position.
"I was excited (for) the money and to be able to work from home, that was a great opportunity," Emerson said.
They sent her a letter that looked real and included the company's logo, but it didn't take long for Emerson to grow suspicious, especially after she received a check that was much larger than the $50 she was told would pay for equipment.
"When I received the check, it was for $4,700," Emerson said.
That's when Emerson contacted FOX59 to find out if she was being scammed. We confirmed that the people offering her a job did not work for the hospital and their methods showed tell-tale signs of a scam.
Betsy DeNardi, Director of Consumer Protection for the Indiana Attorney General's Office, said that had Emerson deposited the check, she likely would have been asked to send the extra $4,000 back. By the time the bank realized the check was fake, Emerson would have been on the hook for the money and fees.
"If the check comes and it lists that it’s from a specific business or entity, then I would contact that business or entity," DeNardi said.
FOX59 did contact Jackson Health System and confirmed that they are not the people who offered Emerson a job.
"Several weeks ago, the public safety division at Jackson Health System became aware of fraudulent job offers that deceitfully use the name of our organization and some of our leaders. Jackson immediately alerted law enforcement. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and a full investigation is underway," a spokesperson said.
Here are some additional red flags that could tip you off to a scam like this:
- Interview conducted via email or messenger, rather than speaking to a live person by phone or in person
- Salary that seems too good to be true
- No detailed information about start date and benefits
FOX59 also looked at the email addresses involved and found them to come from a Gmail account, as well as "@jacksonhealthsysteminc.com." The Jackson Health System website shows that its employees use "@jhsmiami.org," a tip off that the people offering the job are not legitimate.
Emerson didn't fall for the con and never deposited the check. She said that she wanted to let other people know about it before it's too late.
"I want people to be aware that this actually does happen," Emerson said. "It was devastating, but at the same time I would’ve been more devastated if I had acted on it."