Special Report: New dangers every job seeker should look out for
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Scammers are typically trying to steal one of two things, your money or identity.
Some people, however, say they lost their dignity applying for jobs they thought were real.
The job search sometimes starts with a lot of scrolling through an online posting. After two months of doing just that, Kathleen Boylan finally got a response back.
"It was a very nice email. You know, I'm considering you. Please respond back. Tell me a little bit about yourself, where do you see yourself in 3-5 years," Boylan said.
It sounded too good to be true. The position was offering $90,000 a year to be the administrative assistant to a man named Steven at a Canadian-based company.
"I already started figuring out what I was going to do to repair the house," said Boylan.
"Welcome aboard. You will recieve a mail from FedEx with instructions," the next email read. As promised, Boylan got a check for $3,500 in the mail and directions to deposit it thorough mobile, ATM, or branch. She did that at her local Wells Fargo. Over the next few days, Steven kept her busy, looking up flights for a potential business trip and even sending a passport photo.
When a company bill needed to be paid, he told Boylan to buy re-loadable cards he could pay off. She bought five $500 cards and sent him the codes on the back. That's when her so-called boss stopped responding and the check came back as fradulent. Kathleen was out $3,500.
At the Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin, President and CEO Jim Temmer says these fake job scams are on the rise.
"Maybe they really need money and they're desperate. Or they think they want to make $80,000 without doing any work - you're going to fall for this scam. You're going to start thinking emotionally. One thing you can do if you get an ad in your email or you find something that says there's this job with pay and everything else - contact that employer. But don't do it on the address, the website, or the telephone number in that ad - google them and find the official number and ask them 'Hey, are you hiring?'," Temmer said.
At the very least, the BBB warns people to wait for an employer's check to clear before sending off any money. It could take 6-10 days but may end up saving a lot of heartbreak.
Boylan now works for a limousine service. She says she's living month to month and still owes money to her bank.
"There was like hope for like two weeks that I'm going to get back on my feet again, I'm going to make things right. My kids not going to have to worry about tuition, and just to be financially solvent. You know, that hurt," Boylan said.