COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Jeannine Landtiser called Better Call 4, after a family member, who asked her to speak on his behalf, lost $10,000 in the fall of 2022, after accepting a job with what he thought was Naturgy Energy, posted on the popular employment platform, Indeed.
“The person that he was doing FaceTime calls with, that did the interviews, they actually had him doing tasks every day,” said Landtiser. “They sent him money to deposit in his checking account, which then, they had him send to someone else, to get supposedly, his computer and stuff at home.”
Landtiser said her family member began to settle into his new role, providing personal and financial information to his “employer.” The messages, phone and FaceTime calls between them went on for weeks.
“Then all of a sudden, everything went dead,” Landtiser said.
Just as quickly, Landtiser said thousands of dollars were withdrawn from his bank account. They immediately reached out to both Naturgy and Indeed, and their suspicions were confirmed: It was a scam.
“These people hid behind a global corporation,” said Landtiser.
Landtiser and her family member went to Columbus police and to the bank — but were told nothing could be done.
“Unfortunately, the people getting hurt are the little guys. And this person certainly didn’t deserve what he got,” Landtiser said.
He isn’t the only one.
Columbus police sent a news release about scams targeting Columbus residents. One of them was fraudulent ads on job posting websites.
Sgt. Chris Bond with Columbus police’s Economic Crime Unit said anyone impacted should report it to police. But the only true way to protect yourself from these fraudsters is to stop the scheme at the start.
“I think everybody feels that their hands are tied. They don’t know how to find who’s doing it,” Landtiser said.
Unfortunately, lawmakers and the Better Business Bureau, which tracks scams, said it’s difficult to track down scammers. So, it’s on you to protect yourself.
Even if you do find a job posting on a legitimate website, the BBB suggests going to the source, looking up a phone number or email address for the company, and inquiring yourself, to make sure it’s the real deal. And if a potential “employer” reaches out to you, check the email address. It should include the company’s name.