For today’s military Veterans, the road to civilian employment can be tough. Competing in a tight job market and convincing civilian employers to hire them has proven to be a struggle. Most Veterans can’t or don’t want to sit and wait for an employer to contact them and offer them a job. It is this eagerness to work that has led to some Veterans being scammed.
The Veteran community has been increasingly targeted by unscrupulous rip-off artists, especially those disguised as employers offering job opportunities.
One such scam recently targeted Mark Blum, a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force. When he separated, Blum intended to use his experience as a logistical advisor to launch a civilian career. But instead, he was duped by an online employment scam.
Like many Americans seeking an edge, Blum created a profile on LinkedIn. His profile led to an email from a woman who identified herself as Betty Blakefrom Blue Line Network. “Betty” said that her firm was interested in hiring former military personnel, and that Blue Line Network was interested in having Blum join their team as a project manager.
Blum researched the global shipping and logistics company, and saw on the their homepage that the company was hiring. Blum was also repeatedly contacted by Blake and her boss, Thomas Wilson, over the next several weeks through emails, phone calls. They even conducted a Skype interview. Blum received training manuals and took weekly tests, on subjects related to the supposed job.
After a few weeks of studying, training and taking tests, Blum said that his contacts offered him a side job. They credited his credit card with funds so that he could purchase computer equipment and ship it overseas. Blum was suspicious of the offer at first. But he received assurances from his credit card banks that the funds indeed were in his account. But after the purchases were made and shipped, the funds disappeared from his credit card accounts, leaving the Veteran $32,054 in credit cad debt.
California’s cyber task force is now investigating Blum’s case, but so far, they have not heard of any other complaints involving Blue Line Network.
All consumers, but Veterans in particular, are advised to use their best judgment when responding to any unconventional employment offers, especially if it’s one that wasn’t applied for. If anything about the person, company or position seems fishy or too good to be true, then it probably is. And it might be a scam.
If you believe you have been contacted by a fraudulent employer, do not respond and report it to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation immediately, via the Chat function on the website: http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/hiring-our-heroes.
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Military Connection: Job Scams Target Vets: By Debbie Gregory