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Better Business Bureau Warns of Work at Home Scheme Claiming to be in Bloomington, IL

Work at home scams topped BBB charts for 2018 and continues their trend this year, only now one is claiming to set up shop right here in Central Illinois.  

Just a few days ago, the Better Business Bureau received a Scam Tracker report for a company, Ship2Fast, which claims to recruit individuals to be gift wrappers with job details including cleaning, wrapping, and packaging of merchandise as well as checking for chips or flaws.  

The report stated the victim “became aware when a company’s fraud department called me about someone trying to use my information to purchase items online.” BBB contacted the consumer for more information. The consumer stated he received an unsolicited email from the company offering $2500 per month to receive and inspect packages and then reship them out. He described the items he received as shoes, tea cups, clothes, perfume, souvenirs and other oddities. The consumer became suspicious when he noticed the packages included his name and address as BOTH the sender and the receiver. Additionally he noticed that the merchandise receipts showed his name and address as the purchaser, when he in fact did not purchase any of these things. To date he has only been paid less than $200.  

The company’s website states, “We are a postal center where every customer can buy special gifts, wrap them in a unique wrapping and forward the package to any place in the world.”  

BBB was unable to find any options to utilize the gift wrapping/services offered by the company, only employment opportunities.  

The website requests personal information from applicants such as name, address, birth date, a password to create an account, and emergency contact all on an unsecured web page.  

One consumer from Texas contacted BBB stating “I was hired to work for Ship2Fast to perform quality checks on packages and ship them using the pre-printed label. Once my probationary period of 35 days was up and it was time for me to be paid, they cut off all communication with me.”  

The company claims to be located at 112 Washington St, in Bloomington, IL. The address has been quite popular in the news lately, as it belongs to State Farm Insurance headquartered in Bloomington. Just recently, the insurance company announced its plans to demolish the location after unsuccessful attempts to sell the property. BBB investigators confirmed with State Farm officials that this location is vacant and is not aware of a company called Ship2Fast.  

The “re-shipping” scam involves receiving package deliveries at your address or purchasing items for shipment, then repackaging and shipping the deliveries to customers in exchange for both a reimbursement for shipping costs and a paycheck for your work. However, more often than not, the victim never receives payment and now may also be an accomplice to a crime.  

“We see an increase of this scam during the summer months targeting students, teachers, millennials, or anyone looking for extra income” says Jessica Tharp, CEO of BBB serving Central Illinois.

“These scammers get better over time sending official looking job applications, fake checks, and creating professional looking websites”. Tharp goes on to say “In general, work at home jobs don’t pay well and you need to be careful who you give your personal information to. Job boards posting work at home jobs with high payments can look enticing to the savviest of consumers. Often times they entice their victims with promises of high earnings with little hours and no experience. “

THINKING ABOUT WORKING AT HOME? Some things you should consider first:

  • Check out the company. Learn how long it has been in business and if it has received any complaints. Contact the Attorney General, local consumer protection agencies, the Better Business Bureau, and the Secretary of State in the state where the company is headquartered.
  • Get all earnings claims in writing. Be sure it includes the number and percentage of others who have earned as much as the promoter claims. If the promoter hesitates or refuses, walk away from the deal.
  • Be skeptical of past success stories. Ask the promoter to give you the names of previous consumers so you can pick and choose whom to call. When speaking to references, ask them for the names of their clients and details of their operations. You may also consider meeting references in person. Again, at any sign of hesitation on the part of the promoter or references, walk away.
  • Check out the refund and cancellation policies. A company will often offer to refund your money only if you have operated according to their instructions or if your products meet their standards, which are usually very high. Ask to get their refund and cancellation policies in writing.
  • Consult an attorney, accountant, or other business advisor before you sign any agreement or make any payments. If the company requires a deposit, you may want your attorney to establish an escrow account where the money will be maintained by a neutral third party.
  • Legitimate employers do not require fees or investments as a condition of employment. Most work-at-home schemes do. DO NOT pay any fees or investments as a condition of employment. If you are asked to do so, you are probably being scammed.

BBB urges everyone to report scam attempts, even if you didn’t lose money, to BBB Scamtracker.

***Report Courtesy of the Better Business Bureau Serving Central Illinois***

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