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Desperate for money, woman scammed through “job”

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NEW BERLIN (WITI) -- Are you looking for work, or know someone who is? A New Berlin woman was excited when she was told she got the job -- so why did she have to call Contact 6?

Healthcare costs are out of control and sometimes, the weight of what you owe can be crushing. You look for any way out.

"I'm diabetic. I have a lot of medical bills, and that's really what's setting us back," Leah Ravichandran said.

Ravichandran didn't want to show her face on camera because she's worried about a man who called himself Adam Knox.

She agreed to be his personal assistant after finding his job listing on Craigslist.

"They were going out of the country and they would pay me $300 a week to run their errands, to pick up packages, to buy whatever they needed while they were out of the country," Ravichandran said.

Before Ravichandran could do the work, there was a change in plans.

"I never spoke to him. He just texted me," Ravichandran said.

He sent her a check for $1,900, and told her to deposit it and take out $300 for her payment -- and then send the rest through MoneyGram.

"I said 'you wanted me to run your errands, pick up your packages. I'm not really sure why you're asking this of me.' And he said there was an emergency. There was a young girl that was needing surgery and that's why the plans had changed," Ravichandran said.

Ravichandran opened up her heart, and in return, she got devastating news.

"Two weeks later, we got a letter from Landmark Credit Union stating that the funds were insufficient," Ravichandran said.

That means Ravichandran has to come up with $1,900 to pay the credit union back.

It's called the check over-payment scheme, and unfortunately, Contact 6 and the Better Business Bureau have seen people taken again and again by wiring the money.

"That may be a good service, but it's like handing cash to a total stranger. You have no way of getting your money back because anyone can pick up a money gram at the other end," Randall Hoth with the Wisconsin BBB said.

It's an awful lesson to learn.

"I was looking because we needed the money. And for somebody to do this, it's heartless to me," Ravichandran said.

Contact 6 says people can be easily taken by this scam because they are able to take their part of the money out -- so the check must be good, right?

It can take up to two weeks for the financial institution to verify the funds.

What can you do to protect yourself from this scam?

Contact 6 says you should check out all potential employers online.

If you get a check from someone you've never met, wait to see it clear before spending or wiring money anywhere -- especially if it comes with an emotional lie.

4 comments

  • ahem.

    she should have known better. When i was looking for a job, I would come across plenty of those adds on CraigList. Simple common sense, was why I never fell for any of them. When something comes along with that much money…..a huge red flag should go off. I know what it’s like to be strapped for money…..all the more reason to use common sense.

  • making money at home

    I hardly comment, however i did some searching and wound up here Desperate for money, woman scammed through job | FOX6Now.com.
    And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it simply me or does it give the impression like a few of these
    responses appear like they are left by brain dead visitors?

    :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I
    would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of
    every one of all your shared pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  • Sasha

    Im here because I almost became a victim of this scam, except this guy said he wanted me to purchase toys for children at an orphange. The idea of it doesnt really seem that far fetched, but compared to a legitimate job, it seems like bs. The only reason there are no “red flags” off the bat is because these people are giving the impression they are “trusting” YOU as a PERSONAL assistant & theyre a legit business person who needs the extra help. So it gets real once those checks come. & when this guy send me this check, I will be reporting to hunt him down.

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