Single mom: I lost thousands in online job scam
By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com
WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) -- A young, single mother says she was scammed out of thousands of dollars after applying for a job she found on Craigslist in late May. Rashona Sanders said she now owes her bank $5,000.
"It's very heartbreaking. It's very disturbing," said Sanders.
Sanders said she applied for a receptionist job with a pharmaceutical company on the popular website and was hired immediately without previously interviewing for the job in person.
"They responded back to me (in an e-mail) saying that I was accepted for a personal assistant," she said. "They told me that my duties were to run personal errands, cash checks, et cetera."
Her first task included just that cashing checks.
"The first check I was advised to get two MoneyPak cards from Wal-Mart for $900 each and then send off a money gram," she said. "Everything seemed so real. They even e-mailed me a contract from an HR department."
A few days later, she received a second check and again was told to cash it at her bank and then send her boss the money gram. The boss, by the way, was out of the country.
"I was never really able to talk to him on the phone. It was only through e-mail and text messages," she said.
Sanders did not realize something was wrong until a good friend got a similar e-mail. She, too, had been hired for the same position.
"It was just a different company and a different name and that's how we found out everything was a scam," said Sanders.
Sanders said she notified the Charleston County Sheriff's Office as well as a private investigator in hopes that he can help her track down the person who she says took her money.
"The public needs to know that a legitimate business owner or individual isn't going to send a check before any shred of work is completed," said Lest Klavana, a private investigator with Gold Shield Investigation.
Sanders said even though she was a victim, she owes her bank the withdrawn money. But without a real job, she doesn't know how she'll pay the bank back. Still, she hopes others will learn from her mistake.
"Not saying that Craigslist is a bad website. I'm not saying that at all. But you just never know who's really behind that computer," she said. "This person is just out there doing this to other people. He's just getting away with it."
Experts say a lot of these crimes are committed overseas, often making it hard to track down the people making the offers.