FBI, USPIS investigation shut down 17 website scams

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – The US Postal Inspection Service and the FBI on Thursday seized and shut down 17 website domain names linked to work-from-home and reshipping scams.

An investigation into this fraud began in February 2021, when a scammer used another credit card to purchase a virtual reality headset and sent it to a home in Hazelwood.

According to a release from US Attorney Sayler Fleming, the scammers hit people looking for jobs to get stolen goods and then ship the stolen items to another address controlled by the scammers.

The people involved in this scam believed they were accepting legitimate jobs with a real company. These people who were unknowingly a part of this fraud were used to isolate those running it from law enforcement.

According to US Attorney Fleming’s release, investigators found several links that led them to believe the scammers were in Russia.

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A victim of the scam from Hazelwood believed they were taking a work-from-home position for a company called LocalPost as a quality control inspector. She was paid $20 to have a package delivered to her address, where she would take a photo of the product and then ship the items to another address.

The Hazelwood woman allowed investigators to use her login credentials to log into the LocalPost online dashboard, where they discovered 25 packages sent to the Hazelwood address. One of the items included a $1,500 laptop that was fraudulently purchased with a St. Louis County man’s credit card.

Another victim in Texas believed they were taking a logistics inspector position with another company linked to the scam. This victim had spent about $32,000, which they believed would be refunded, but never was.

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The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 64 complaints related to these scams. The Federal Trade Commission received 56 complaints about the websites involved with these scams.

“Although the scammers who have defrauded an unprecedented number of people are hiding from justice in foreign countries, we have ended their ability to sustain the scams by shutting down these websites,” said Fleming. “This case should serve as a warning to them, and to those who may be tricked into participating in similar scams in the future. Anyone approached with a work-from-home opportunity should thoroughly investigate their potential employer before contacting them personally Information sharing.

One way to stay protected from these scams is to double check information before providing private information.

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“This is yet another type of cyber fraud that criminals, often overseas, use to victimize hard-working Americans,” said FBI Special Agent Jay Greenberg in St. Louis. Louis Division. “To avoid the vast majority of online scams, make it a habit to ‘always doubt and check.’ With this type of scheme, do an internet search for the ‘business’ addresses provided and then call that location’s phone number to verify.

Information about these types of scams can be found through the Federal Trade Commission and the AARP.

You can report these crimes to the US Postal Inspection Service or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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