During the pandemic, many employers have extended working from home. So, when looking for a job online, seeing an increase in the number of remote positions isn't out of the ordinary.
Melanie Brown says it didn't seem odd, so she started applying.
"I did get a text, that was different," said Melanie.
She would later realize that text would cost her. The message, claiming to be an employer, said they had gotten her information off her Indeed.com profile.
They promised flexible work from home hours, benefits, and great pay. They even sent a check they said was to buy office supplies through their approved vendor.
"Everything seemed pretty professional, it didn't really seem like a bit of a scam at that moment," said Melanie.
Unfortunately, the check was bad. Melanie only found out after she sent off $2,000 of her own money to a so-called vendor.
"I get the chase message that my account has been like overdraft like everything had been sucked out. And I was like, what like, what is this?" said Melanie.
According to the FBI, in 2020 they received more than 790,000 complaints about internet crimes. That's 300,000 more than in 2019.
Meanwhile, Federal Trade Commission data shows in just the last three months of 2020 Arizonans lost more than $18 billion to scammers. Close to 3,000 people were victims in those cases.
The likelihood of Melanie getting her money back is next to impossible.
Melanie says she will be careful putting her information online including job sites like Indeed which says they have a team that checks employers and their listings.
"I'm like, I fully understand that that's what your policy says. But in this case, I was actually scammed because this isn't a real company after all of this," said Melanie.
When the Let Joe Know team reached out to Indeed to ask more about how scammers could be using their site.
ABC15 received this statement from Indeed:
Indeed's mission is to help people get jobs, and the quality of the job advertisements posted by third parties on our site is central to our mission. Indeed has a team dedicated to the Search Quality effort, and employs a variety of techniques to review job advertisements to determine their suitability. Indeed reserves the right to remove any job postings that do not meet our standards and we encourage job seekers to report any suspect job advertisements to us, or if they feel it necessary, to make a report to the police. Jobseekers should never agree to send payment to a potential employer, and charging fees is a violation of Indeed’s rules for companies posting on our site. We encourage job seekers to review our Guidelines for Safe Job Search.