ATLANTA — An Atlanta woman says she worked for more than a month at a work from home job that she thought was legitimate, until she never got paid.
As a single mother of four, Sonya Scott says she was specifically looking for work from home opportunities and was excited to find the job as a shipping and packaging specialist.
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“It promised good money, a monthly salary. I’ve never worked on salary before, so I said let me try and see how this goes. This could be good for me,” Scott said.
Instead, the paycheck never arrived.
When Scott asked about it, she was locked out of the online portal and the phone numbers stopped working.
“It just really set me back. Bills are more behind than they were before and I don’t have anything to pay them with,” Scott said.
The fake business now has Scott’s personal information. She gave them her social security number with her W-4 and even her bank account information for payroll.
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The job involved receiving and shipping packages, but the US Postal Inspector warns that job seekers should always be skeptical of these shipping work from home jobs. Those packages are likely either stolen goods or purchased with stolen credit cards.
“Think about it. What legitimate company is going to send you items and ask you to reship them? Why wouldn’t they just do it themself?” Postal Inspector Andrea Avery said in a video posted to the agency’s website.
While looking through the paperwork the fake company sent Scott, Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray found paperwork that seemed to contain personal information for another Atlanta resident.
There was a document, allegedly signed in the presence of a notary by Lewis Hensley. Her Georgia driver’s license was attached.
But Gray tracked down the real Lewis Hensley. A man, not a woman. It was his name and address, but not his picture or correct birthdate on the ID.
“Does it make you concerned what else is out there now?” Gray asked. “Yeah. Yeah, definitely,” Hensley responded.
Back at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel 2 Investigates showed you how sophisticated some of these work from home schemes can be.
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In 2020, scammers used the name of Mike Teate’s real Dekalb County business and his real address to set up a fake work from home company.
“My LLC is an active LLC. It’s not dissolved in any way,” he said. “But it has absolutely nothing to do with this company that is scamming people.”
Sonya Scott is filing complaints with the Georgia Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission.
Lewis Hensley froze his credit after we informed him of the fake ID in his name.
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