If you are among the hundreds of thousands of people laid off in the ongoing economic downturn, finding a new job is probably your #1 concern right now. Scoping out the job boards is one way to look for employment. However, these days they are overrun with jobs that range from ridiculous to shady. Some may be downright criminal. For example, you might think the open position posted by a company such as Wood-Planet Furniture offers you an opportunity to sell office furniture and fine home furnishings. Not exactly! According to watchdog site bobbear.co.uk, this “work from home” job is really about laundering money.
Think That’s A Little Farfetched?
Take a gander at this screenshot and the text describing the duties associated with the “administrative assistant” position. Here’s an excerpt (after all the folksy intro stuff that is intended to make it sound like a real job):
“Your task starts when the buyers send out payments in their preferred methods. There are times when they pay in cash or bank transfer (THIS METHOD IS EASIER IF ONLY YOU HAVE ACCOUNT WITH M & T OR TD BANK AND IF YES PLEASE GET BACK WITH THE BANK DETAILS TO PROCEED WITH THE TRANSFER), and there are times when they pay in Money Order and you have to get Money Order cashed at your bank. After this, you send the same payment to our suppliers or vendors, subtracting your commission of 8% from the total amount.”
That’s a pretty clear cut case of the “employer” asking you to accept money and launder it by processing through your personal bank account. Of course, you will be the one who is caught and prosecuted for participating in this activity. Your assets can also be frozen. That’s not a good thing when you need to pay for a lawyer.
The company you work for will be gone in the night – and impossible to trace since their supposed corporate headquarters never existed in the first place. Real companies that sell office furniture have a showroom and offices you can visit in person to apply for a job. Plus, they have the ability to receive payments directly when they sell cubicles. So, read those job postings carefully. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.