Published on July 09, 2024


Another scam has arrived in Yavapai County, this one involving the victims answering online "work at home" job offers. YCSO has recently received reports of attempts to defraud job applicants out of money by paying for unnecessary or phony items, or by trying to cash fake checks from "employers" in these scams. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

A lot of folks want to make money working from home, and scammers are now putting ads online that promise potential employees could "make thousands of dollars a month" with little time and effort involved. The old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" comes into play here. The "jobs" may include reshipping products sent to you, to selling items to your friends and family (how easy can it get?). The scam ads promise "you can be your own boss, start your own money-making business at home, set your own schedule", etc.

One of the tipoffs that it's a scam: they want money from you first, before you start to make money from your at-home gold mine. You are told you have to pay for a "starter kit", a lot of so-called "training", or certifications that turn out to be phony or useless. They then use the credit card information you supply to charge a lot of things you didn't order. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

And there's the "fake check" scam, where the employer sends you a check to deposit, then quickly asks you to send back a bunch of money that was "overpaid" to you. The check you got is phony...bounce, bounce, bounce....but the money you sent the scammer is real and the scammer rings up another victim. By the way, just because the bank says the check you deposited has "cleared" your account doesn't mean the check is good. Fake checks may take weeks to be uncovered, and the bank will come back to you to pay back the funds that "bounced". DO NOT FALL FOR IT. 

Add this scam to the many others that have popped up in recent weeks in Yavapai County, including the one where someone from YCSO calls you and says you need to pay a fine or you will be taken to jail. YCSO NEVER CALLS ANYONE ASKING FOR MONEY...NEVER...UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! With artificial intelligence, scammers can reproduce real names (like Yavapai County Sheriff's Office) to show up on your caller ID when it actually is a call from another number altogether. (Phony YCSO phone numbers recently used include 928-361-9187, 928-223-0917, 928-829-1240 and 520-652-0774). They can also use real names of YCSO personnel and perhaps even mimic the voice of someone who works for our agency. Technology is a key ingredient in frauds and scams these days. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. Hang up immediately and call our REAL Fraud Unit phone number (928-771-3299) to report what happened.

Remember the basic rules of NOT becoming a victim of any fraud or scam: 

1. Slow down, take your time, and think about the not act quickly or out of emotion. Hang up (your phone), delete (the e mail or text). NEVER CLICK ON ATTACHMENTS OR LINKS.

2. Never give out personal information (bank info, Social Security number, Medicare number, any password or login information, etc) to anyone who calls/emails/texts you and verify on your own that they are who they claim to be. (call your bank to see if they are the ones contacting you, etc).

3. Be skeptical. Don't just automatically assume everyone who contacts you is honest. A lot of them are not, and you could lose a lot of money (online romance scams, social media offers, e mails claiming your Social Security number and account has been hacked or your bank account has been frozen or closed, etc). 

If you have any questions regarding frauds and scams, call YCSO Fraud Investigations at (928) 771-3299. Stay safe.

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