Thomasville college student warns others to beware of summer job scams

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- An Appalachian State University student from Thomasville says she was offered what seemed like the perfect summer job. She later found out it was likely a scam.

Kaitlyn Reynolds just finished up her sophomore year at App State. “Coming up on summer again, I needed a job. I had no idea where to start and out of the blue I got an email from Care.com.”

Someone claiming to be “Sharon” contacted Kaitlyn, claimed to be deaf, and said she preferred to communicate through texts and emails.

“It was a weekend job and she was paying almost $250,” Kaitlyn said.

In the emails, “Sharon” describes her “lovely” son Kyle who was injured in an accident and used a wheelchair. She offered Kaitlyn a babysitting job.

“Sharon” sent Kaitlyn a check for more than $2,600 before they ever met. She said it was the first weekend’s payment plus extra money to give to a wheelchair company.

“She told me that he was already in a wheelchair but she wanted to get him a new electronic wheelchair.”

Kevin Hinterberger, with the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina, explains how scams like this work. “You deposit the check in your bank account, the check at some point will bounce, but you’ve already wired the money overseas or wherever it’s going. It’s just like handing someone cash. Once you wire that money, it’s gone.”

Hinterberger said there are several red flags to look out for when searching for any job online.

First, beware of an offer for great pay in exchange for working very few hours. It’s tempting, but probably not legitimate. “I think you need to ask yourself- if you were running a business, would you hire yourself under the same conditions. If the answer is no, that’s a red flag.”

Also be wary of any job that sends you more than expected in a check, then asks you to send money elsewhere.

Thanks to a family friend researching online, Kaitlyn did not fall for the offer and was able to halt communications with "Sharon" before losing any money.

For more information about babysitting scams, click here.

For more information about job seeker scams, click here.