HOUSTON – Searching for a job can be stressful. Just when one woman thought she nailed her interview, she realized her new potential employer was actually a thief. She contacted KPRC 2 Investigates when she discovered the fraudster stole thousands of dollars from her online.
Karen Miller and her husband Matt are supposed to be on their honeymoon in Dubai right now. But their big trip was canceled after their honeymoon funds were stolen. After a great first interview with a company she found on the job search website Indeed, Karen Miller was invited for a second interview.
“So I thought it was legit, and everything that they were explaining to me seemed legit. I had to fill out a paper for my payroll, all of that seemed legit,” said Miller.
Then things went south.
“We were on Zoom, and then we switched to Microsoft Teams. And they asked me to continue to click different links because their website was down on their end,” she explained.
While waiting, the employer asked her to pay for her background check.
“So in doing that, I used my Cash App. And that’s how they got in. My Cash App was still open on my computer.”
It appears that when clicking the different links as she was asked, Miller was actually allowing someone to hack into her computer.
“And then an hour later, I realized all of our honeymoon funds was actually gone,” said Miller. “$3,500.”
Job scams are on the rise
“They are trying new tactics and getting more creative,” said Leah Napoliello with the Better Business Bureau.
Here are a few red flags you might be dealing with a job scam:
- High-paying job, but the tasks seem easy.
- Job materials look unprofessional, with spelling errors.
- Research of the company comes up empty.
“You can’t find when they started or anything aside from what they have placed on their own website then that is concerning,” said Napoliello.
Scammers did send Miller a company website but it’s gone now. The money she lost is also gone and she still does not have a job. Still, Karen and Matt said they will not let the bad news get them down. They got married this past weekend and are making the best out of Matt’s week off.
“We trust, we really trust in ‘everything happens for a reason.’ So honestly, even though we won’t be able to go on a honeymoon, we’re going to make the best of it by just staying home and taking care of house things,” said Miller.
Cash App unable to get money back
Miller said the people at Cash App were very helpful. They tried but say she can’t get her money back. We asked Indeed what they are doing to stop scammers from using their site to target job seekers. The company sent us this response after our story aired:
Indeed puts job seekers at the heart of everything we do. We have a dedicated search quality team who goes to extraordinary lengths deploying a variety of techniques to assess the suitability and validity of job listings. Indeed removes tens of millions of job listings each month that do not meet our quality guidelines. In addition, Indeed will not do business with an employer if their job listings do not pass our stringent quality guidelines. We encourage job seekers to report any suspicious job advertisements to us, or if they feel it necessary, to make a report to the police. We encourage all job seekers to review our Guidelines for a Safe Job Search.
If something like this happens to you - you should immediately file a police report, contact the Texas Attorney General’s office, and let the FBI know.